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Full text of "Historic fields and mansions of Middlesex"

THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON, 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/historicfieldsmOOdrak 



BY THE SAME ATTTHOM. 



OLD LANDMARKS 

AND 

HISTORIC PERSONAGES 

OF 

BOSTON. 

One Volume. 12mo. With 100 Illustrations. 
.$3.00: 



V* Sent, post-paid, on receipt of price by the Pub- 
lishers, 

JAMES R. OSGOOD & CO., Boston. 



HISTORIC 



FIELDS AND MANSIONS 



OF 



MIDDLESEX. 



By SAMUEL ADAMS DRAKE. 



Illustrated 



"We take no note of time 
But from its loss. To give it then a tongue 
Is wise in man." 



BOSTON: 
JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY, 

Late Ticknor & Fields, and Fields, Osgood, & Co. 

1874. 



l9Tf 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, 

BY JAMES E. OSGOOD AND COMPANY, 

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



University Press : Welch, Bigelow, & Co. 
Cambridge. 



INVITATION TO THE READER 

THIS is neither a county history nor a relation of con- 
secutive events, but a series of historic-colloquial ram- 
bles among the memorable places of Old Middlesex. Arm 
in arm we thread the Colonial highways, reading history, 
recounting traditions, and discussing men and events with 
much freedom, — challenging as we go the dwellings of 
former generations to yield up their secrets, not indeed 
to reproduce spectres, but living objects, — rehabilitating the 
Old and arraying it beside the New. At parting I shall hope 
you mil have no cause to regret our companionship. 

Our saunterings are chiefly in those ways made famous 
by the earliest warlike events of the Eevolution, pausing, 
incidentally, to trace the almost obliterated vestiges of the 
siege, with pictures of the camps and portraits of the char- 
acters, civil and military, of the time, considered as men 
and not as gods. 

History of battles or campaigns should, as I think, ena- 
ble the student to go upon the ground, and with book in 
hand follow the movements of contending armies as they 
actually occurred. As much as has been written of the 
eleven months' campaign for the possession of Boston, I 
have not found any modern author who has brought his 
narrative of the military operations and topography into 
correspondence, and in so far as this may be accounted a 
deficiency, have endeavored to supply it. Foremost, also, 
among my motives is the knowledge that the exigencies 



IV INVITATION TO THE READER. 

of commerce or of overflowing population are changing the 
lace of Nature beyond all power of recognition. With pen 
and pencil I seek to establish some slight memorials on 
which the future explorer may lean a little as he takes 
up and brings forward the chain. 

At this day the ancient shire, our subject, exerts a 
weighty influence in the nation. She contributes a Vice- 
President, Cabinet Minister, Senator, and three of the 
eleven Representatives to which the State is entitled in 
its councils. Who have been her children in the past will 
appear as we proceed. 

The map which is joined to this volume is of great 
rarity, and is now, by the kindness of Dr. Wheatland of 
Salem, for the first time reproduced in exact facsimile. 
With its help we discover the appearance of Colonial Bos- 
ton and its environs of a century ago. It may be con- 
sulted with confidence. The view from the Navy- Yard, 
showing Bunker Hill previous to the erection of the mon- 
ument, is from a painting by Mrs. Hannah Armstrong, nee 
Crowninshield. Cradock's Plantation House is from a photo- 
graph by Wilkinson of Medford, taken before important 
alterations had impaired much of its antique character. In- 
man House is from a negative by Warren of Cambridge. 

I trust these pages may bear to the* many friends to 
whom I am under obligations the evidence of the faithful- 
ness of my endeavors to portray what has seemed most 
worthy in Old New England Life. 

" Together let us beat this ample field, 
Try what the open, what the covert yield ; 
The latent tracts, the giddy heights explore, 
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar." 

Melrose, October 29, 1873. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 

Environs of Boston. — Charles Kiver. — History of the Bridges. — Lemuel 
Cox. — Charlestown in the Olden Time. — John Harvard. — The Night 
Surprise at Doncaster. - — William Kainsborrow. — Robert Sedgwick. — 
Nathaniel Gorham. — Washington and Hancock. — Jedediah Morse. — 
Anecdote of Dr. Gardiner. — Samuel F. B. Morse. — His first Telegraph. 

— Charlotte Cushman's Home. — Her debut in England 

CHAPTER II. 

AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 

Origin of Charlestown Navy- Yard. — Wapping. — Nicholson and the 
Constitution. —Commandants of the Yard. — Constitution and Java. 

— Commodore Hull. — George Claghorn. — The Park of Artillery. — 
Cannon in the Revolution. — Compared with Woolwich. — Naval Bat- 
tle in Boston Harbor. — Anecdotes of Lord Nelson. — Tribute to 
Algiers. — Hopkins. — Paul Jones. — Projectiles. — Invention of the 
Anchor. — The Dry-Dock. — Josiah Barker. — Captain Dewey and the 
Constitution's Figure-Head. — Famous Ships built here. — Launch of 
the Merrimac. — Masts, Sheathing, and Conductors. — The Origin of 
"U. S." — Iron Clads. — Landing of Sir William Howe. —Area of the 
Yard. — The Naval Institute .... 



CHAPTER III. 

BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 

Coup oVopAI from the Hill. —British Regiments in the Battle. — Their 
Arms, Dress, and Colors. — Anecdotes of the Royal Welsh. — Losses 
and Incidents of the Battle. — Lords Rawdon and Harris. —John 



vi CONTENTS. 

Coffin. — Admiral Graves. — Generals Small, Burgoyne, and Pigot. — • 
Trumbull's Painting. —The Command. — American Officers engaged. 

— Putnam's Exertions. — The Redoubt. — Other Intrenchments. — 
Vestiges of the Works. — Singular Powers of American Officers. — 
Fall of Warren. — The Slaughter. — History of the Monuments. — 
Bunker Hill Proper and Works. — Middlesex Canal . . .52 

CHAPTER IV. 

' THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 

Military Roads in 1775. — Mount Benedict. — General Lee at the Outpost. 

— Morgan's Rifles. — Burning of the Ursuline Convent. — Governor 
Winthrop and Ten Hills. —Robert Temple. —Redoubts at Ten Hills. 

— General Sullivan. — Samuel Jaques. — Winter Hill fortified. — View 
of Sullivan's Camp and Fort. — Scammell, Wilkinson, Burr, and Arnold. 

— Anecdote of Vanderlyn, the Painter. — Dearborn at Monmouth. — 
Hessian Encampment. — Will Yankees fight ? 83 

CHAPTER V. 

THE OLD WAYSIDE MILL. 

Its History and Description. —A Colonial Magazine. — Removal of the 
Powder by General Gage. — Washington and the Powder Scarcity. — 
Expedients to supply the Army. — A Legend of the Powder House . 110 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 

The Royall Mansion and Family. — Flight of Colonel Royall. — John 
Stark occupies the House. — Anecdotes of Stark. — Bennington and its 
Results. — Prisoners brought to Boston. — The Bennington Guns. — 
Lee and Sullivan at Colonel Royall's. ■ — Hobgoblin Hall. — Taverns 
and Travel in former Times. — Old Medford and its Inns. — Shipbuild- 
ing. — John Brooks at Bemis's Heights. — Governor Cradock's Planta- 
tion-House. — Political Coup d'etat by the Massachusetts Company. — 
Cradock's Agents. — Reflections 119 



CHAPTER VII. 

LEE'S HEADQUARTERS AND VICINITY. 

Lee's Headquarters. — Was he a Traitor ? — Anecdotes of the General. — 
The Surprise at Baskingridge. — Meeting of Washington and Lee at 
Monmouth. — Lee's Will and Death. — Works on Prospect Hill de- 



CONTENTS. vn 

scribed. — General Greene's Command. — Washington's Opinion of 
Greene. — Eetires from the Army embarrassed. — Eli Whitney. — How 
the Provincials mounted Artillery. — Their Resources in this Arm. — 
Massachusetts Regiment of Artillery. — Small-Arms. — Putnam's Flag- 
Raising. — Deacon Whitcomb. — Colonel Wesson. — Union Standard 
hoisted. — Quarters of Burgoyne's Troops. — Appearance of British and 
Hessians. — Mutinous Conduct of Prisoners. — They are transferred to 
Rutland. — They march to Virginia. — Horrible Domestic Tragedy. — 
Remains of the Old Defences 141 



CHAPTER VIII. 

OLD CHARLESTOWN ROAD, LECHMERE'S POINT, AND 
PUTNAM'S HEADQUARTERS. 

Executions in Middlesex. — Site of the Gibbet. — Works on Cobble Hill. 
— Sketches of Colonel Knox. — He brings Battering Train from Crown 
Point. — Mrs. Knox. — Joseph Barrell. — His Mansion-House. — 
McLean Asylum. — Miller's River. — Lechmere's Point. — Access to 
in 1775. — Fortification of. — Bombardment of Boston. — The Evacua- 
tion. — Career and Fate of Mike Martin. — Cambridge Lines described. 
Ralph Inman's. — Captain John Linzee's Courtship. — Putnam at 
Inman's. — Anecdotes of Putnam. — Margaret Fuller. — Allston and 
his Works 169 



CHAPTER IX. 

A DAT AT HARVARD. 

Old Cambridge. — An Episcopal See contemplated. — Dr. Apthorp. — 
Burgoyne's Quarters. — Dana Mansion. — David Phips. — General 
Gookin. — First Observatory at Harvard. — Gore Hall and the College 
Library. — Father Rale's Dictionary. — His cruel Fate. — The Presi- 
dent's House. — Distinguished Occupants. — Willard. — Kirkland. — 
Quincy. — Everett. — Increase Mather and Witchcraft. — Thomas Dud- 
ley. — Topography. — Bradish's Tavern. — First Church. — Old Court- 
House and Jail. — Laws and Usages of the Colonists. — Dane Hall. — 
Only two Attorneys in Massachusetts 195 



CHAPTER X. 

A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 

Founding and Account of First College Buildings. — College Press. — 
Stephen Daye. — Samuel Greene. — Portraits in Massachusetts Hall. — 
College Lotteries. — Governor Bernard. — The Quadrangle. — College 



via CONTENTS. 

Customs. — The Clubs. — Commencement. — Dress of Students. — Ox- 
ford Caps. — George Downing. — Class of 1763. — Outbreaks of the 
Students. — The American Lines 221 



CHAPTER XI. 

CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 

Early Military Organization by the Colony. — Soldier of 1630. — A 
Troop hi 1675. — The Bayonet invented. — Formation of a Provincial 
Army. — Cambridge Common. — The Continental Parades. — Arrange- 
ment of the Army. — Its Condition in July, 1775. — Want of Distin- 
guishing Colors. — Attempts to uniform. — Army Headquarters. — ■ 
Jonathan Hastings. — Explanation of the word "Yankee." — Captain 
Benedict Arnold. — Committee of Safety. — General Ward. — His In- 
trepidity in Shays's Rebellion. — Warren en route to Bunker Hill. — 
Professor Pearson. — Abiel Holmes. — 0. W. Holmes. — Lines to Old 
Ironsides 245 



CHAPTER XII. 

CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 

Dr. Waterhouse. — Inoculation. — Siege Cannon. — Whitefield's Elm. — 
The Washington Elm. — The Haunted House. — Important Crises in 
Washington's Career. — Visits the Old South Church. — New England 
Church Architecture. — Christ Church. — Occupied by Troops. — The 
Ancient Burial-Place. — Judge Trowbridge. — Old Brattle House. — 
Thomas Brattle. —General Mifflin. —Judge Story. — W. W. Story.— 
The Windmill. — Jonathan Belcher. — Benjamin Church's Treachery 264 



CHAPTER XIII. 

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 

Visit to Mr. Longfellow. — Colonel John Vassall. — Colonel John Glover. 
— Washington takes Possession. — His personal Appearance, Habits, 
and Dress — Continental Uniform.— Peale's Portrait. —Order of March 
17, 1776. —The General's Military Family. —His Pugnacity. — Chi- 
rography of his Generals. — Monmouth again. — Anecdotes. — " Lord " 
Stirling and Lady Kitty. — Lafayette and his Family. — French 
Generals in our Service .— Washington's, Napoleon's, and Wellington's 
Orders. — Councils of War. — Arrival of Mrs. Washington. — The 
Household. — Formation of the Body-Guard. — Caleb Gibbs. — Na- 
thaniel Tracy. —Andrew Craigie. —Talleyrand and Prince Edward. — 
Jared Sparks and other Occupants. — Longfellow becomes an Inmate 289 



CONTENTS. ix 

CHAPTER XIV. 

OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 

Sewall Mansion. — Jonathan and John. — General Riedesel. — Prisoners 
of War in 1777. — How the German Flags were saved. — Judge Lee. — 
Thomas Fayerweather. — Governor Gerry's. — Thomas Oliver. — Polit- 
ical Craft. — The Gerrymander. — Dr. Lowell. — James Russell Lowell. 

— Speculations. — Caroline Gilman 313 

CHAPTER XV. 

MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 

Thoughts. — The Tower. — Pere la Chaise. — Dr. Jacob Bigelow. — 
Indifference which old Cemeteries experience. — Funeral Rites. — 
Duration of Bones. — The Chapel and Statuary. — The Origin of 
Mount Auburn. — Fresh Pond. — A Refuge on the Day of Lexington. 

— Nat Wyeth's Expedition to the Pacific. — The Ice-Traffic. — Fred- 
erick Tudor. — Richardson's Tavern. — Cock-Fighting. — Old Water- 
town Graveyard. — Rev. George Phillips. — Provincial Congress. — 
Rev. William Gordon. — Edes's Printing-Office. — Sign of Mr. Wilkes. 

— John Cook's and the Colony Notes. — Thomas Prentice. — Joseph 
Ward. — Michael Jackson. — Nonantum Hill. — General Hull. — The 
Apostle Eliot 326 



CHAPTER XVI. 

LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 

Discovery of Gage's Plans. — American Preparations for War. —British 
Reconnoissance. — Colonel Smith lands at Lechmere's Point. — His 
March. — The Country alarmed. — Philip d'Auvergne. — Pitcairn ar- 
rives at Lexington Green. — Who is responsible ? — Topography. — 
Battle Monument. — Disposition of the Dead. — The Clark House. — 
Hancock and Adams. — Dorothy Q. — The Battle of Lexington in 
England 354 



CHAPTER XVII. 

LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 

The Approach to Concord. — The Wayside. — Hawthorne. —A. Bronson 
Alcott. — Louisa. — May. — R. W. Emerson. — Thoreau. — Concord on 
the Day of Invasion. — Ephraim Jones and John Pitcairn. — Colonel 
Archibald Campbell. —71st Highlanders.— Anecdote of Simon Fraser. 
— Mill Pond. — Timothy Wheeler's Ruse-de-gmrre. —The Hill Bury- 
ing-Ground. — The Slave's Epitaph 371 



X CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 

The Battle Monument. — The two Graves. — Position of the Americans. 

— The Old Manse. — Hawthorne's Study. — The Old House over the 
Way. — The Troops retreat. — John Brooks attacks them. — A Rout 
described. — A Percy to the Rescue. ■*- The Royal Artillery. — Old 
Munroe Tavern. — Anxiety in Boston. — Warren and Heath take Part. 

— Action in Menotomy. — Eliphalet Downer's Duel. — His Escape 
from a British Prison. — The Slaughter at Jason Russell's. —Incidents. 

— Percy escapes. — Contemporary Accounts of the Battle. — Monu- 
ments at Acton and Arlington 386 



CHAPTER XIX. 

A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 

South Sudbury. — Outbreak of Philip's War. — Measures in the Colony. 

— Marlborough attacked. — Descent on Sudbury. — Defeat and Death 
of Captain Wadsworth. — Wads worth Monument. — Relics of Philip. 

— The Wayside Inn. — Ancient Taverns vs. Modern Hotels. — The 
Interior of the Wayside.— Early Post-Routes in New England. —Jour- 
ney of Madam Knight in 1704 410 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE HOME OF RUMFORD. 

Birthplace of Count Rurnford. — His Early Life. — The Old Shop near 
Boston Stone. — Rumford's Marriage, Arrest, and Flight. — Bequest to 
Harvard College. — Portrait of the Count. — Thomas Graves, the 
Admiral . . . . . . -427 



HELIOTYPE ILLUSTRATIONS 



Old Wayside Mill, Somerville 

Eoyall Mansion, Medford •• • Page 119 

Plantation House, Mystic Side 133 

General Lee's Headquarters, Somerville 141 

Inman House, Cambridgeport 187 

General Burgoyne's Residence, Cambridge 197 

President's House, Cambridge 206 

Ancient College Buildings, Cambridge 224 

Provincial Headquarters, Cambridge 255 

Christ Church and Old Burial-Ground, Cambridge . . . 274 

Governor Belcher's, Cambridge * . . 285 

Longfellow's House, Cambridge 300 

Elmwood (J. R. Lowell's), Cambridge 317 

General Hull's, Newtonville 351 

Lexington Green in 1775 (Drawing of the Tirm) .... 360 

Clark's House, Lexington 369 

Battle Monument, Concord 387 

The Old Manse, Concord 390 

Jason Russell's, Arlington . 401 

The Home of Count Rumford, Woburn 427 

Map of Boston and Environs, 1775. 



ILLUSTRATIONS ON WOOD. 



♦ 

Page 

Belcher Arms 285 

Belcher {Portrait) 285 

Bunker Hill from the Navy- Yard, about 1826 . ... 26 

Bunker Hill Monument . 52 

British Flag captured at Yorktown 54 

Brattle Arms 281 

Broken Gravestone • . 276 

Cannon and Carriage used before Boston 153 

Cannon dismantled 83 

Charlestown Navt-Yard in 1873 36 

" 185S ........ 38 

Chauncy Arms . 208 

Flag of Washington's Life-Guard 308 

Flag of Morgan's Rifles 87 

Fort on Cobble Hill 172 

Gookin Arms . . . . 200 

Gore Hall, 1873 .. '. 202 

Great Harry 35 

Harvard College Lottery Ticket (Facsimile of an Original) . 227 

Harvard's Monument 11 

Hessian Flag 106 

King Philip (from an old Print) 414 

Lexington Monument 362 

Lowell Arms 322 

Mount Auburn Gateway 326 

Mount Auburn Chapel 335 



XIV ILLUSTRATIONS ON WOOD. 

Nix's Mate 170 

Quadrangle Harvard College . . . . . . 231 

Sewall-Riedesel Mansion 313 

Sign of the Wayside Inn 421 

Smith, Captain John . . . 3 

Stanch and Strong 39 

Trophies of Bennington 1 

Ursuline Convent in Ruins 91 

Washington Statue (Ball's) . . 295 

Wendell Arms . . 255 

Washington Elm ; 1873 ..... . 267 

• Willard Arms 207 




^i * . - - • ..j ' ,. -- _i -:- ---: : ;- -, •" , „ — Z ^ — *~ -.;.---_ 




THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 

"A sup of New England's Aire is better than a whole draught ot Old 
England's Ale." 

THE charming belt of country around Boston is full of in- 
terest to Americans. It is diversified with every feature 
that can make a landscape attractive. Town clasps hands with 
town until the girdle is complete where Nahant and Nantasket 
sit with their feet in the Atlantic. The whole region may he 
compared to one vast park, where nature has wrought in savage 
grandeur what art has subdued into a series of delightful . 
pictures. No one portion of the zone may claim precedence. 

There is the same ^lifting |i;i up visilile from every rugged 

height that never fails to delight soul and sense. We can 
liken these suburban abodes to nothing but a string of precious 
gems flung around the neck of Old Boston. 

Nor is this all. Whoever cherishes the memory of brave 
deeds — and who does not? — will find here the arena in which 
the colonial stripling .smhlmly sprang overt, and planted a blow 
full in the front of the old insular gladiator, — a blow that made 
him reel with the shock to his very centre. It was here the 



2 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

people of the " Old Thirteen " first acted together as one nation, 
and here the separate streams of their existence united in one 
mighty flood. The girdle is not the less interesting that it 
rests on the ramparts of the Eevolution. 

It is in a great measure true that what is nearest to us we 
know the least about, and that we ignorantly pass over scenes 
every day, not a whit less interesting than those by which we 
are attracted to countries beyond the seas. An invitation to a 
pilgrimage among the familiar objects which may be viewed 
from the city steeples, while it may not be comparable to a tour 
in the environs of London or of Paris, will not, our word for it, 
4fail to supply us with materials for reflection and entertain- 
ment. Let us beguile the way with glances at the interior home- 
life of our English ancestors, while inspecting the memorials 
they have left behind. Their habitations yet stand by the 
wayside, and if dumb to others, will not altogether refuse their 
secrets to such as seek them in the light of historic truth. We 
shall not fill these old halls with lamentations for a greatness 
that is departed never to return, but remember always that 
there is a living present into which our lives are framed, and 
by which the civilization of what we may call the old regime 
may be tested. Where we have advanced, we need not fear 
the ordeal ; where we have not advanced, we need not fear to 
avow it. 

We suppose ourselves at the water-side, a wayfarer by the old 
bridge leading to Charlestown, with the tide rippling against 
the wooden piers beneath our feet, and the blue sky above call- 
ing us afield. The shores are bristling with masts which 
gleam like so many polished conductors and cast their long 
wavy shadows aslant the watery mirror. Behind these, houses 
rise, tier over tier, mass against mass, from which, as if dis- 
dainful of such company, the granite obelisk springs out, and 
higher yet, a landmark on the sea, a Pharos of liberty on 
the shore. 

The Charles, to which Longfellow has dedicated some charm- 
ing lines, though not actually seen by Smith, retained the name 
with which he christened it. It was a shrewd guess in the 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 



bold navigator, that the numerous islands he saw in the bay 
indicated the estuary of a great river penetrating the interior. 
It is a curious feature of the map which Smith made of the 
coast of New England in 1614, that the names of Plymouth, 
Boston, Cambridge, and many other towns not settled until 
long afterwards, should be there laid down. Smith's map was 
the first on which the name of New England appeared. 

In the pavement of St. Sepulchre, London, is Smith's tomb- 
stone. The inscription, except the three Turk's heads, is totally 
effaced, but the church authorities have promised to have it 
renewed as given by Stow. 

The subject of bridging the river from the old ferry-way at 
Hudson's Point to the opposite shore — which is here of about 
the same breadth 
as the Thames at 
London Bridge 
— was agitated as 
early as 1712, or 
more than seventy 
years before its 
final accomplish- 
ment. In 1720 
the attempt was 
renewed, but 
while the utility , 
of a bridge was ( 
conceded, it was 
not considered a 
practicable under- 
taking. After the 
Eevolution the 
project was again revived, and a man was found equal to the 
occasion. An ingenious shipwright, named Lemuel Cox, was 
then living at Medford, who insisted that the enterprise was 
feasible. Some alleged that the channel of the river was too 
deep, that the ice would destroy the structure, and that it 
would obstruct navigation ; while by far the greater number 




CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH. 



4 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

rejected the idea altogether as chimerical. But Cox persevered. 
He brought the influential and enterprising to his views ; a 
charter was obtained, and this energetic and skilful mechanic 
saw the bridge he had so dexterously planned in his brain be- 
come a reality. Captain John Stone, of Concord, Mass., was 
the architect of this bridge. His epitaph in the old burying- 
ground there says he was a man of good natural abilities, which 
seemed to be adorned with modern virtues and Christian graces. 
He died in 1791. 

The opening of the structure upon the anniversary of the 
battle of Bunker Hill, and only eleven years after that event, 
attracted upwards of twenty thousand spectators. The day 
was ushered in by a discharge of thirteen cannon from the 
opposite heights of Breed's Hill, Charlestown, and Copp's Hill, 
Boston, accompanied by repeated peals from the bells of Christ 
Church. At one o'clock, p. m., the proprietors assembled in 
the State House for the purpose of conducting the several 
branches of the Legislature over the bridge. The procession, 
which included not only the public officials, but almost every 
individual of prominence in the community, moved from State 
Street, amid a salute from the Castle, and upon its arrival at 
the bridge the attendant companies of artillery formed two 
lines to the right and left, through which the cortege passed 
on to the middle of the bridge, where it halted. The Presi- 
dent of the Corporation, Thomas Eussell, then advanced alone, 
and directed Mr. Cox to fix the draw for the passage of the 
company, which was immediately done. The procession con- 
tinued its march to Breed's Hill, where two tables, each three 
hundred and twenty feet long, had been laid, at which eight 
hundred guests sat down and prolonged the festivities until 
evening. 

When built, this was the longest bridge in the world, and, 
except the abutments, was entirely of wood. Until "West 
Boston Bridge was constructed, in 1793, it yielded a splendid 
return to the proprietors ; but the latter surpassed it not only 
in length, but in beauty of architecture, and, with the cause- 
way on the Cambridge side, formed a beautiful drive or prom- 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. O 

enade of about two miles in extent. It also lessened the dis- 
tance from Cambridge to Boston more than a mile. In 1828 
Warren Bridge was opened, but not without serious opposition 
from the proprietors of the old avenue ; and the two bridges 
might not inaptly have served some native poet for a colloquy 
as famous as that of the rival " Brigs of Ayr." 

" Nae langer thrifty citizens an' donee 

Meet owre a pint, or in the Council-house ; 

But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless Gentry, 

The herryment and ruin of the country ; 

Men three-parts made by Tailors and by Barbers, 

Wha' waste your well hain'd gear on d — d new Brigs and Harbours ! " 

The ferry, which was the original mode of transit between 
the two peninsulas, was established in 1635, and five years 
later was granted to Harvard College. To compensate for the 
loss of the income from this source when Charles River Bridge 
was built, the proprietors were required to pay £200 per 
annum to the University, and in 1792 the same sum was 
imposed on the West Boston Bridge Corporation. 

Two handbills, each embellished with a rude woodcut of 
the bridge, were printed on the occasion of the opening, in 
1786. One was from the " Charlestown Press " ; the other was 
printed by "E. Russell, Boston, next door to Dr, Haskins', 
near Liberty Pole." * From the broadside (as it was then 
called), published at the request and for the benefit of the 
directors and friends of this " grand and almost unparalleled 
undertaking," we present the following extract : — 

" This elegant work was begun on the First of June 1785, (a day 
remarkable in the Annals of America as the Ports of Boston and 
Charlestown were unjustly shut up by an arbitrary British Admin- 
istration) and was finished on the seventeenth of the same month 
1786, the ever memorable day on which was fought the famous and 
bloody Battle of Bunker-Hill, where was shewn the Valour of the 
undisciplined New England Militia under the magnanimous 
Warren who gloriously fell in his Country's Cause ! Blessed Be 
His Memory ! ! And All the People — Say Amen I ! ! !" 

* Ezekiel "Russell's printing-office was at the head of Essex Street. 



6 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The building committee were Hon. Nathaniel Gorhani, 
Richard Devens, David Wood, Jr., Captain Joseph Cordis, 
Andrew Symmes, Jr., and John Larkin. 

Lemuel Cox, the artisan, was born in Boston in 1736, and 
died in Charlestown in 1806. In 1787 he built the bridge 
to Maiden, which was finished in six months ; and in the fol- 
lowing year (1788), the Essex Bridge, at Salem, was con- 
structed by him. In 1789 he was living in Prince Street, in 
Boston, and styled himself a millwright. In 1790, accom- 
panied by a Mr. Thompson, Cox went to Ireland, where he 
was invited to estimate for the building of a bridge over the 
Foyle at Londonderry. His proposals being accepted, the two 
Americans purchased a ship, which they loaded at Sheepscot, 
Maine, with lumber, and having secured about twenty of their 
countrymen, skilled in shaping timber, set sail for Ireland. 
The bridge, which connected the city and county, consisted 
of fifty-eight arches, all of American oak, and was completed 
in five months. The Foyle was here about nine hundred feet 
wide and forty feet deep at high water. What made Cox's 
achievement the more important was the fact that Milne, an 
English engineer, had surveyed the river and pronounced the 
scheme impracticable. 

Our pioneer in bridge-building on a great scale in America 
has received but scanty recompense at the hands of biographers. 
Dr. Ure has neither noticed his great works in Ireland nor in 
this country. Before he left Europe, Mr. Cox was applied to by 
the Corporation of London to take down Wren's monument, 
which was supposed to threaten a fall ; but, as they would not 
give him his price, he declined. Massachusetts granted him, 
in 1796, a thousand acres of land in Maine, for being the first 
inventor of a machine to cut card-wire, the first projector of a 
powder-mill in the State, and the first to suggest the employ- 
ment of prisoners on Castle Island to make nails. The rude 
woodcut which adorned the head of the broadside circulated 
at the opening of Charles Biver Bridge was executed, as the 
printer says, by "that masterpiece of ingenuity, Mr. Lemuel 
Cox." It shows a detachment of artillery with cannon ready 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 7 

for firing, and a coach with four horses, and a footman behind, 
driving at full speed over the bridge. 

In 1786 no ceremony would have been considered complete 
without the aid of the Muses, and the Nine were energetically 
invoked in forty stanzas, of which we submit a fair specimen : — 

" The smiling morn now peeps in view, 
Bright with peculiar charms, 
See, Boston Nymphs and Cliarlestown too 
Each linked arm in arm. 

2. " I sing the day in which the BRIDGE 

Is finished and done, 
Boston and Cliarlestown lads rejoice, 
And fire your cannon guns. 

3. " The BRIDGE is finished now 1 say, 

Each other bridge outvies, 
For London Bridge, compar'd with ours 
Appears in dim disguise. 

23. " Now Boston, Cliarlestown nobly join 
And roast a fatted Ox 
On noted Bunker Hill combine, 
To toast our patriot COX. 

38. " May North and South and Cliarlestown all 
Agree with one consent, 
To love each one like Indian's rum, 
On publick good be sent." 

Chelsea Bridge was built in 1803, and the direct avenue to 
Salem opened by means of a turnpike, by which the distance 
from Boston was greatly diminished. The bridge was to revert 
to the Commonwealth in seventy years. 

In 1G43 the colony of Massachusetts Bay was divided into 
four shires, of which Middlesex, named after that county in 
Old England which includes London, was one. It is the most 
populous of all the counties of the Old Bay State, and em- 
braces within its limits the earliest battle-fields of the Revolu- 
tion, the first seat of learning in the English colonies, and the 
manufactures which have made American industry known in 
every quarter of the globe. 



8 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Cliarlestown, the mother of Boston, resembled in its super- 
ficial features its more powerful offspring. It was a peninsula, 
connected with the mainland by a narrow neck ; it had three 
principal hills also, but the mutations which have swept over 
the one have not left the other untouched. To remove a 
mountain is now only a question of time ; and were Mahomet 
to live again, he would see that his celebrated reply has be- 
come void of significance. 

Like Shawmut, Mishawum * had its solitary settler in 
Thomas Walford, the sturdy smith, who was found living 
here in 1628, when some of Endicott's company made their way 
through the wilderness from Salem. The next year the settle- 
ment received some accessions, and was named Charles Towne 
by Governor Endicott, in honor of the reigning prince. Win- 
throp's company arrived at Chariest own in June and July, 
1630 ; but, owing to the mortality that prevailed and the want 
of water, the settlers soon began to disperse, the larger part re- 
moving with the governor to Shawmut. A second dispersion 
took place on account of the destruction of the town during 
the battle of 1775, leaving nothing but the hills, the ancient 
burial-place, and a few old houses that escaped the conflagra- 
tion. 

The day is perhaps not distant when Charlestown and Boston 
will be allied under the same municipal control. Winthrop 
established a government in both, and a Bostonian united them 
by a bridge. Their history is the same. In spite of the laws 
against marriages of consanguinity, the banns are likely to be 
erelong proclaimed. 

The old ferry, besides serving the primitive settlers, is de- 
serving of recognition as the place where the first exchange of 
prisoners took place after hostilities begun between America 
and Great Britain. This event occurred on the 6th of June 
following the battle of Lexington, and was conducted by Dr. 
Warren and General Putnam for the colony, and by Major 
Moncrieff on behalf of General Gage. The contending parties 
concerned themselves little at that time about what has since 
* Indian name of Charlestown. 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 9 

been known as "belligerent rights," each being ready to get rid 
of some troublesome visitors by the easiest and most natural 
method. Warren and Putnam rode to the ferry in a phaeton, 
followed by a cavalcade of prisoners, some mounted and others 
riding in chaises. Arrived at the shore, the Doctor and ' Old 
Put' signalled the Lively, man-of-war, and Major Moncrieff 
come off as related. After the performance of their public 
business, the parties to the exchange adjourned to Mr. Poster's, 
and had what was then and since known as " a good time." 
A much worse fate happened to the Bunker Hill prisoners, and 
it is quite evident that both parties looked upon the collision 
at Lexington as premature, — the King's commander witli 
misgiving as to whether his conduct would be sustained in 
England ; the colonists as to whether their resistance had not 
closed the door against that reconciliation with the throne they 
professed so ardently to desire. 

The great square around which clustered the humble habita- 
tions of the settlers ; the "great house," inhabited for a time 
by the governor, and in which the settlement of Boston was 
probably planned ; the thatched meeting-house, and even the 
first tavern of old Samuel Long, — afterwards the sign of the 
Two Cranes and situated on the City Hall site,* — were what 
met the eye of Jossleyn as he ascended the beach into the 
market-place in 1638. He describes the rattlesnake he saw 
while walking out there, and his visit to Long's ordinary. 
Eventually, the town stretched itself along the street leading to 
the mainland. 

In these times of degeneracy, when man requires the most 
repressive measures to compel him to abstain from the vice of 
intemperance, Ave can but look back with longing eyes upon 
those halcyon days when a traveller entering a public inn was 
immediately followed by an officer, who, with the utmost sang 
froid, placed himself near the guest, and when, in his opinion, 
his charge had partaken of enough strong waters, by a wave of his 
hand forbade the host to fetch another stoup of liquor. What 
a companion for a midnight wassail of good fellows ! With his 

* Also the site of the "Great House." 
1* 



10 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

gaze riveted upon the countenances of the revellers, he marks 
each stage of transition from sobriety to that point which we 
may call the perfect equipoise, where the law steps in. With 
a rap of his staff upon the floor, or a thwack of his fist on the 
table, he checks the song or silences the jest. We hardly know 
how to sufficiently admire such parental care in our forefathers ; 
we hesitate to compare it with the present system. 

The night-watch, too, was an institution. With their great- 
coats, dark- lanterns, and iron-shod staffs, they went their rounds 
to warn all wayfarers to their beds, admonish the loiterers who 
might chance to be abroad, or arrest evil-doers. Whether 
they were marshalled nightly by their officer we know not, 
but we doubt not they would have diligently executed their 
commission. 

Dogb. Well, you are to call at all the alehouses, and bid those that are 
drunk get them to bed. 
2 Watch. How if they will not ? 
Dogb. Why, let them alone till they are sober. 

The watchman had an ancient custom of crying " All 's well! " 
and the hour of the night, as he went his rounds, at the same 
time striking his bill upon the pavement. This was to banish 
sleep altogether from the bed of sickness, or divide it into 
periods of semi-consciousness for the more robust. Well can we 
imagine the drowsy guardian, lurking in some dark passage or 
narrow lane, shouting with stentorian lungs his sleep-destroying 
watch-cry under the stars, and startling a whole neighborhood 
from its slumbers. Like the Scot, he murdered sleep ; like 
him, he should have been condemned to s]eep no more. 

Dr. Bentley, of Salem, who perhaps had a watchman nightly 
posted under his window, pertinently inquired through a news- 
paper if it would not be better to cry out when all was not well, 
and let well enough alone. 

Charlestown has given to the world some eminent public 
characters. Earliest among these is John Harvard, the patron 
of the college that bears his name. He was admitted a free- 
man " with promise of such accommodations as we best can," 
in 1637, but disd the following year, leaving half his estate for 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 



11 




harvard's monument. 



the use of the infant school of learning. He also left his li- 
brary of more than three hundred volumes to the College, and 
has a simple granite shaft, erected to his memory on Burial 
Hill, in Charles- 
town, by the 
graduates of the 
University he 
aided to found. 
Edward Everett 
delivered the ad- 
dress on the oc- 
casion of the ded- 
ication. The 
eastern face of 
the monument, 
besides the name 
of John Harvard, 
bears the follow- 
ing inscription. 

" On the 26th of September, a. d. 1828, this stone was erected by 
the graduates of the University at Cambridge, in honor of its 
founder, who died at Charlestown on the 26th of September, 
1638." 

The western front bears a Latin inscription, recognizing that 
one who had laid the corner-stone of letters in America should 
no longer be without a monument, however humble. This 
memorial, which was raised nearly two hundred years after the 
decease of Harvard, rests on a supposititious site, his burial-place 
having been forgotten or obliterated. Unfortunately, less is 
known of Harvard than of most of his contemporaries, but that 
little is treasured as a precious legacy to the Alumni of the 
University. The old graveyard, one of the most interesting 
in New England, as having received the ashes of many of Win- 
throp's band, suffered mutilation while the town was held by 
the British in 1775 — 6. It is stated that the gravestones were 
in some cases used by the soldiers for thresholds to their 
barracks. 



12 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 
THE NIGHT SURPRISE AT DONCASTER. 

Charlestown may also lay claim to having given two brave 
soldiers to Old Noll's army when that hard-hitting Puritan was 
cracking the crowns of loyal Scot, Briton, or Celt, and sending 
the ringleted cavaliers over-seas, to escape his long arm. 

Principal of these was William Eainsborrow who lived here 
in 1639, and was, with Kobert Sedgwick and Israel Stough- 
ton, a member of the Honorable Artillery Company of Boston. 
Eainsborrow had risen to be colonel of a regiment in the 
Parliamentary army, in which Stonghton (of Dorchester) was 
lieutenant-colonel, Nehemiah Bourne, a Boston shipwright, 
major, and John Leverett, afterwards governor, a captain; 
William Hudson, supposed to be of Boston, also, was ensign. 

In the year 1648, the Yorkshire royalists, who had been 
living in quiet since the first war, were again excited by intel- 
ligence of Duke Hamilton's intended invasion. A plan was 
laid and successfully carried out to surprise Pomfret Castle, 
(sometimes called Pontefract) the greatest and strongest castle 
in all England, and then held by Colonel Cotterel as governor 
for the Parliament. The castle was soon beseiged by Sir Ed- 
ward Ehodes and Sir Henry Cholmondly with five thousand 
regular troops, but the royal garrison made good their conquest. 

It being likely to prove a tedious affair, General Eains- 
borrow was sent from London by the Parliament to put a 
speedy end to it. He was esteemed a general of great skill 
and courage, exceedingly zealous in the Protector's service, 
with a reputation gained both by land and sea, — he having 
been, for a time, Admiral of Cromwell's fleet. Eainsborrow 
pitched his headquarters, for the present, at Doncaster, twelve 
miles from Pomfret, with twelve hundred foot and two regi- 
ments of horse. 

The castle garrison having learned of Hamilton's defeat at 
Preston, and that Sir Marmaduke Langdale, who commanded 
the English in that battle, was a prisoner, formed the bold 
design of seizing General Eainsborrow in his camp, and hold- 
ing him a hostage for Sir Marmaduke. The design seemed 



• THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 13 

the more feasible, because the general and his men were in no 
apprehension of any surprise ; the castle being twelve miles 
distant, closely besieged, and the only garrison for the King in 
England. 

The plan was shrewdly laid, favored by' circumstances, and 
was completely successful except that instead of bringing the 
general off they were obliged to kill him. With only twenty- 
two picked men, well mounted, Captain William Paulden 
penetrated into .Doncaster undiscovered. The guards were 
forced and dispersed, while a party of four made for the gen- 
eral's lodgings. At the door they were met by his lieutenant, 
who, on their announcing that they had come with despatches 
from General Cromwell, conducted them to the general's cham- 
ber, where he was in bed. While the general was opening the 
despatch, in which was nothing but blank paper, the king's 
men told him he was their prisoner, but that not a hair of his 
head should be touched, if he went quietly along with them. 
They then disarmed his lieutenant, who had so innocently 
facilitated their design, and brought them both out of the 
house. A horse was prepared for the general, and he was 
directed to mount, which he at first seemed willing to do, and 
put his foot in the stirrup, but looking about him and seeing 
only four enemies, while his lieutenant and sentinel (whom 
they had not disarmed) were standing by him, he pulled his 
foot out of the stirrup, and cried Arms ! Arms ! 

Upon this, one of his enemies, letting fall his sword and 
pistol, — for he did not wish to kill the general, — caught hold 
of Eainsborrow, who grappled with him, and both fell to the 
ground. The general's lieutenant then picked up the trooper's 
pistol, but was instantly run through the body by Paulden's 
lieutenant, while in the act of cocking it. A third stabbed 
Eainsborrow in the neck ; yet the general gained his feet with 
the trooper's sword, with whom he had been struggling, in his 
hand. The lieutenant of the party then passed his sword 
through his body, when the brave but ill-fated Eainsborrow 
fell dead upon the pavement. 

Another of Charlestown's worthies whom we cite was 



14 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Robert Sedgwick, who became a major-general under the 
Protector, and is mentioned by Carlyle. Sedgwick was a 
favorite with the " Usurper " as he was called by the King's 
party, who sent him with a well-appointed fleet to Jamaica, 
to replace P'Oyley, a cavalier, who, notwithstanding his success 
in the West Indies, was disliked by Cromwell. Cromwell had, 
with his usual astuteness, encouraged the cavaliers to embark in 
the conquest of Jamaica, where rich booty was expected and 
whence few of them returned. Sedgwick, unaccustomed to 
the climate and mode of life, died before he had an oppor- 
tunity of accomplishing anything. 

An original portrait of Leverett in his military garb shows 
him to be every inch a soldier. He is painted in a buff sur- 
coat fastened with steel frogs, and has a stout blade with steel 
hilt and guard suspended by an embroidered shoulder-belt, at 
his thigh. 

" His waistcoat Avas of stubborn Buff, 
Some say Fuizee and Ponyard proof" ; 

his head is uncovered, and his curling black locks and beard 
set off a bronzed and martial countenance. Plumed hat, high 
jack-boots, and gauntlets complete a military attire of the 
time by no means unbecoming. 

Nathaniel Gorham, a resident of Town Hill, whose name 
appears among the projectors of Charles River Bridge, was a 
man eminent in the councils of the State and the nation. He 
was a member of both the First and Second Provincial Con- 
gress; of the General Court, the Board of War, and of the 
State Constitutional Convention. A delegate to the Conti- 
nental Congress in 1782-83, and president of that body in 
1786 ; he was also a member of Governor Hancock's council in 
1789, at the time of Washington's visit. His account of the 
difference which arose between the President and the Governor, 
as to which should pay the first visit, and which it is believed 
is now for the first time in print, sheds some new light on that 
affair which at the time convulsed all circles of the Massachu- 
setts capital. In regard to the assertion that the Governor 
expected the first call, Mr. Gorham says : — 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 15 

" There is nothing further from the truth than this^idea; and I do 
not speak from uncertainties, for the Council wai sitting every day 
for a week before the President's arrival, and met almost every day 
at the Governor's house to concert proper measures for his reception. 
I was apprehensive something like what has happened might take 
place, and proposed that the address which the Governor and Coun- 
cil had agreed to make should be delivered at Cambridge, where the 

O CD i 

Lieutenant-Governor and Council first saw the President, with a 
letter from the Governor, or an authorized message, that his indis- 
position prevented his attending with the Council : but this idea 
was not supported. The Governor did not oppose it, but on the 
contrary declared in the most explicit terms that he had no doubt 
in his mind of the propriety of his making the first visit. This was 
on Friday. On Saturday the President arrived, and not choosing 
to come up to the Governor's to dine, the Lieutenant Governor and 
two of his Council went down to his lodgings in the evening, 
authorized by the Governor to make the most explicit declaration 
as to the point in question. This brought some explanation from 
the President by which it appeared that he had been misinformed 
as to the state of the Governor's health ; for he had been led to 
believe that the Governor had dined out some days before, and had 
rode out every day the preceding week, when to my knowledge he 
had not been out of his chamber. But the explanation made by the 
Council on Saturday evening and the Governor's visit on Sunday 
soon removed every difficulty." 

It was during this visit that an incident occurred illustrat- 
ing Washington's rigid punctuality. He had appointed eight 
o'clock in the morning as the hour in which he should set out 
for Salem ; and while the Old South clock was striking eight, 
he was mounting his horse. The company of cavalry which 
was to escort him, not anticipating this strict punctuality, were 
parading in Tremont Street after his departure ; and it was not 
until the President had reached Charles Eiver Bridge, where 
he stopped a few minutes, that the troop overtook him. On 
passing the corps, the President with perfect good-nature said, 
" Major Gibbs, I thought you had been too long in my family, 
not to know when it was eight o'clock." Charlestown was the 
first town in Massachusetts to institute public funeral honors 
on the death of this great man. 



16 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

What was particularly remarkable in Mr. Gorham was his 
perspicacity with regard to the destiny of the great West. This 
led him, at a time when there was neither public nor private 
credit, to purchase, in connection with Oliver Phelps, an im- 
mense tract of land then belonging to Massachusetts, lying on 
the Genesee, in New York- The area of the purchase com- 
prises ten or twelve counties and includes hundreds of flourish- 
ing towns. 

Jedediah Morse, the father of American geography, and 
minister of the first church in Charlestown from 1789 to 1820, 
describes Charlestown in his Gazetteer of 1797 as containing 
two hundred and fifty houses and twenty-five hundred in- 
habitants, with no other public buildings of note than the 
Congregational meeting-house and almshouse. A traveller 
who visited the place in 1750 says it then had two hundred 
houses, and was a pleasant little town " where the Bostoneers 
build many vessels." The destruction of the town and disper- 
sion of the inhabitants caused the exemption of that part lying 
within the Neck, that is to say the peninsula, from furnishing 
troops for the Continental army in 1776. In 1784 Nathaniel 
Gorham was sent to England on a singular mission by the suf- 
ferers from the burning of the town in 1775, — it being for no 
other purpose than to solicit aid for the consequences of an act 
of war. The mission resulted in failure, as it deserved, and 
was condemned by the thinking portion of the community, who 
did not believe we could afford to ask alms of those whom we 
had just forced to acknowledge our independence. 

Dr. Morse's first work on geography for the use of schools 
was prepared at New Haven in 1784. This was soon followed 
by larger works on the same subject and by gazetteers, com- 
piled from the historical and descriptive works of the time, and 
aided by travel and correspondence. We cannot withhold our 
astonishment when we look into one of these early volumes ; 
for it is only by this means we realize the immense strides our 
country has been taking since the Eevolution, or that a vast 
extent of territory, then a wilderness, has now become the seat 
of political power for these states and the granary from whence 






THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 17 

half Europe is fed. What was then laid down as a desert is now 
seamed by railways and covered with cities and villages. The 
early volumes of the Massachusetts Historical Society contained 
many valuable topographical and descriptive papers contributed 
by Drs. Belknap, Holmes, Bentley, and others, and of which 
Dr. Morse, an influential member of the society, in all proba- 
bility availed himself in his later works. 

Geography was an original passion with Dr. Morse, which it 
is said rendered him so absent-minded that once, being asked 
by his teacher at a Greek recitation where a certain verb was 
found, he replied, " On the coast of Africa." While he was a 
tutor at Yale, the want of geographies there induced him to 
prepare notes for his pupils, to serve as text books, which he 
eventually printed. Such was the origin of his labors in this 
held of learning. 

The clergy have always been our historians, and New Eng- 
land annals would be indeed meagre, but for the efforts of 
Hubbard, Prince, the Mathers, Belknap, Gordon, Morse, 
Holmes, and others. As Hutchinson drew on Hubbard, so 
all the writers on the Eevolution derive much of their material 
from Gordon, whose work, if it did not satisfy the intense 
American feeling of his day, seems at this time remarkable for 
fairness and truth. The meridian of London, where Dr. Gor- 
don's work first appeared, was freely said to have impaired his 
narrative and to have caused the revision of his manuscript to 
the suppression of whatever might wound the susceptibilities 
of his English patrons. 

Dr. Morse engaged much in controversy, Unitarianism hav- 
ing begun publicly to assert itself in his time, and in some in- 
stances to obtain control of the old Orthodox houses of wor- 
ship. The struggle of Dr. Holmes to maintain himself against 
the wave of new ideas forms a curious chapter in religious con- 
troversial history. The energy with which Jedediah Morse 
engaged in the conflict seriously aifected his health, but he 
kept his church true to its original, time-honored doctrines. 
Dr. Morse, who was the townsman and classmate of Dr. Holmes, 
is understood to have introduced the latter at Cambridge. 



18 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

On some occasion, Dr. Gardiner of Trinity Church, Boston, 
who, by the way, was a pupil of the celebrated Dr. Parr, went to 
preach in the church at Cambridge, and, as a matter of course, 
many of the professors went to hear him. Unitarianism had ap- 
peared in the Episcopal, as well as the Congregational Church. 

Dr. Gardiner began his discourse somewhat in this wise : 
" My brethren, there is a new science discovered ; it is called 
Biblical criticism. Do you want to know what Biblical criti- 
cism is 1 I will tell you. 

' Off with his head ! So much for Buckingham.' Cooke. 
' Off with his head ! So much for Buckingham.' Kemble. 

Mr. Cooper says neither are right, but that it should be ren- 
dered, ' Off with his head ! so much for Buckingham ! ' My 
friends that is Biblical criticism." We leave the reader to 
imagine the effect upon the grave and reverend professors of 
the College. 

Dr. Morse was sole editor of the Panoplist from 1806 to 
1811, and was prominent in establishing the And over Theo- 
logical Seminary. He engaged at times in missionary work, 
the records of marriages performed by him at the Isles of 
Shoals being still in existence there. One of his last labors 
was a visit to the Indian tribes of the Northwest, under the 
direction of the government, a report of which he published in 
1832. 

At the time of the excitement in New England against 
secret societies, when the most direful apprehensions existed 
that religion itself was to be overthrown by Free-Masonry, the 
Illuminati, or bugbears of a similar character, Dr. Morse was 
one of the overseers of Harvard College and a distinguished 
alarmist. As such, he opposed with all his might the proposal 
of the Phi Beta Kappa Society to publish " The Literary Mis- 
cellany," which afterwards appeared under their auspices. It 
was conjectured that this literary association, with its then 
unrevealed Greek initials, was an off-shoot of some order of 
Masonry, and hence the Doctor's vigilance to prevent the en- 
trance of any corrupting influences within the walls of the 
seminary. 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 19 

The old parsonage which was the residence of Dr. Morse 
was situated in what is now Harvard Street, between the City 
Hall and Church, the house standing quite near the latter, 
while the garden extended down the hill on the ground now 
occupied by Harvard Eow, quite to the City Hall. It was a 
two-story wooden house, removed many years since from its 
historic site on the ancient Town Hill. 

Dr. Morse's more distinguished son, Samuel Finley Breese, 
known to all the world for making electricity the instantaneous 
messenger of his will, has now, as we write, been dead scarcely 
more than a twelvemonth. His eulogy, thanks to his own in- 
vention, was pronounced simultaneously from St. Petersburg to 
California ; his memory received the homage of crowned heads, 
as well as of our own republican court, such as has rarely, if 
ever, been accorded to any explorer in the pathways of science. 
As the savans of the Old World have in times past bowed be- 
fore a Franklin, a Eumford, and a Bowditch, they have once 
more been called upon to inscribe in their high places of honor 
the name of an American. 

Samuel F. B. Morse was not born at the parsonage, but in 
the house of Thomas Edes, on Main Street, to which Dr. 
Morse had removed while his own roof was undergoing some 
repairs. The house, which is also noted as the first erected in 
Charlestown after its destruction in 1775, stands at the corner 
of Main Street Court at a little distance from the Unitarian 
Church. 

Young Morse seconded his father's passion for geography by 
one as strongly marked for drawing, and the blank margin of 
his Virgil occupied far more of his thoughts than the text. 
His penchant for art, exhibited in much the same manner as 
Allston's, his future master, did not meet with the same en- 
couragement. A caricature, founded upon some fracas among 
the students at Yale, and in which the faculty were burlesqued, 
was seized, handed to President D wight, and the author, who 
was no other than our friend Morse, called up. The delinquent 
received a severe lecture upon his waste of time, violation of 
college laws, and filial disobedience, without exhibiting any 



20 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

signs of contrition • bnt when at length Dr. Dwight said to 
him, " Morse you are no painter ; this is a rude attempt, a com- 
plete failure," he was touched to the quick, and could not keep 
back the tears. On being questioned by his fellow-students as 
to what Dr. Dwight had said or done, "He says I am no 
painter ! " roared Morse, cut to the heart through his darling 
passion. 

A canvas, executed by Morse at the age of nineteen, of the 
Landing of the Pilgrim's may be seen at the Charlestown City 
Hall. He accompanied Allston to Europe, where he became a 
pupil of West, and, it is said, also, of Copley, though the latter 
died two years after Morse reached England. He exhibited 
his "Dying Hercules" at the Koyal Academy in 1813, re- 
ceiving subsequently from the London Adelphi a prize gold 
medal for a model of the same in plaster. In 1815 he returned 
to America and pursued portrait painting, his price being fifteen 
dollars for a picture. Morse became a resident of New York 
about 1822, and painted Lafayette when the latter visited this 
country. 

Various accounts have been given of the manner in which 
Morse first imbibed the idea of making electricity the means 
of. conveying intelligence, the one usually accepted being that, 
while returning from Europe in 1832, on board the packet 
ship Sully, a fellow-passenger related some experiments he had 
witnessed in Paris with the electro-magnet, which made such 
an impression upon one of his auditors that he walked the 
deck the whole night. Professor Morse's own account was that 
he gained his knowledge of the working of the electro-magnet 
while attending the lectures of Dr. J. Freeman Dana, then 
professor of chemistry in the University of New York, delivered 
before the New York Athenaeum. " I witnessed," says Morse, 
"the effects of the conjunctive wires in the different forms 
described by him in his lectures, and exhibited to his audience. 
The electro-magnet was put in action by an intensity battery ; 
it was made to sustain the weight of its armature, when the 
conjunctive wire was connected with the poles of the battery, 
or the circuit was closed ; and it was made ' to drop its load ' 
upon opening the circuit." 



. THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 21 

Morse's application to the Twenty- Seventh. Congress for aid 
to put his invention to the test of practical illustration was 
only carried by a vote of eighty-nine to eighty-seven. The in- 
ventor went to Washington with exhausted means and heartsick 
with despondency. Two votes saved, perhaps, this wonderful 
discovery from present obscurity. With the thirty thousand 
dollars he obtained, Morse stretched his first wires from Wash- 
ington to Baltimore, — we say wires, because the principle of the 
ground circuit was not then known, and only discovered, we 
believe, by accident, so that a wire to go and another to return 
between the cities was deemed necessary by Morse to complete 
his first circuit. The first wire was of copper. 

The first message, now in the custody of the Connecticut 
Historical Society, was dictated by Miss Annie G. Ellsworth. 
With trembling hand Morse must have spelled out the words, — 

11 What Hath God Wrought ! " 
With an intensity of feeling he must have waited for the " aye, 
aye " of his distant correspondent. It was done ; and the iron 
thread, freighted with joy or woe to men or nations, now throbs 
responsive to the delicate touch of a child. It now springs up 
from the desert in advance of civilization ; its spark o'erleaps 
the ocean and well-nigh spans the globe itself. No man can 
say that its destiny is accomplished ; but we have lived to grasp 
the lightning and play with the thunderbolt. 

The telegraph was at first regarded with a superstitious dread 
in some sections of the country. Will it be credited that in a 
Southern State a drouth was attributed to its occult influences, 
and the people, infatuated with the idea, levelled the wires with 
the ground 1 The savages of the plains have been known to 
lie in ambush watching the mysterious agent of the white man, 
and listening to the humming of the wires, which they vaguely 
associated with evil augury to themselves. So common was it 
for the Indians to knock off the insulators with their rifles, in 
order to gratify their curiosity in regard to the " singing cord," 
that it was, at first, extremely difficult to keep the lines in re- 
pair along the Pacific railway. 

As you go towards Charlestown Neck, when about half-way 



22 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

from the point where Main and Warren Streets unite, you see 
at your right hand the old-fashioned two-story wooden house 
in which Charlotte Cushman passed some of her early life. 

She was born in Boston, in that part of the town ycleped 
the North End, and in an old house that stood within the 
present enclosure of the Hancock School yard. It should not 
be forgotten that that sterling actor, John Gilbert, was born in 
the next house. Here young John spoke his first piece and 
here the great curtain was rung up for little Charlotte. When 
the lights shall be at last turned off, and darkness envelop the 
stao;e, there will be two wreaths of immortelles to be added to 
the tributes which that famed old quarter already claims for its 
long roll of celebrated names. 

It is related that, when a child, Charlotte was one day in- 
cautiously playing on. Long Wharf, where her father kept a 
store, and there fell into the water. She was rescued and 
taken home dripping wet, but instead of an ecstatic burst of joy 
at the safety of her darling, her mother gave her a sound whip- 
ping. Perhaps this was only one of those sudden revulsions 
which Tom Hood exemplifies in his " Lost Heir." 

After her removal to Charlestown Charlotte went to Miss 
Austin's school. This lady was a relative of William Austin, 
the author of " Peter Pugg." - Charlotte was a good scholar, 
and almost always had the badge of excellence suspended from 
her neck. She was very strong physically, as some of her 
schoolmates bear witness to this, day. Although she displayed 
considerable aptitude as a reader, her predilection was, at this 
time, altogether in favor of a musical career, and she cultivated 
her voice assiduously to that end. 

Her first appearance in public was at a social concert given 
at the hall No. 1 Franklin Avenue, in Boston, March 25 th, 
1830, where she was assisted by Mr. Parmer, Mr. John P. 
Pray, Messrs. Stedman, Morris, and others. She also sang at 
one of Mrs. Wood's Concerts, and that lady, pleased with her 
fine contralto voice, advised her to turn her attention to the 
lyric drama. Mr. Maeder, the husband of Clara Fisher, brought 
her out as the Countess, in Les Noces de Figaro, in April, 1835, 
at the Tremont Theatre. 



THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 23 

Her voice failing, she determined to adopt the acting branch 
of the profession, and studied under the direction of W. E. 
Burton, the celebrated comedian. Having mastered the part 
of Lady Macbeth, she appeared with complete success at the 
New York theatres in this and other leading characters. At 
this 'time she brought out her youngest sister, Susan, herself 
assuming male parts. She was manageress of one of the Phila- 
delphia theatres until Mr. Macready, in 1844, invited her to 
accompany him in a professional tour of the Northern States, 
which gave her an opportunity of displaying her tragic powers 
to advantage. 

During her tour with Macready, she played in Boston at the 
Old Melodeon, with scarcely a single voice of the press raised 
in her favor. Her benefit, at which the tragedian, with charac- 
teristic littleness, refused to appear, was a pecuniary loss to her. 1 
But it was during this, trip that Macready said to her one day, 
in his brusque, pompous way, " Girl, you would do well in 
London." This remark was not lost on the quick-witted 
Yankee maiden. 

The next year found her in London, but she had kept her 
own counsel, and even Mr. Macready did not know her inten- 
tion. In vain, however, she solicited an engagement, for she 
had neither fame nor beauty to recommend her. But at last, 
when she had spent almost her last farthing, — except the little 
sum at her banker's, laid aside to take her back home in case 
all else should fail,- — a ray of hope appeared. Maddocks, the 
manager of the Princess's Theatre, proposed to her to appear in 
company with Mr. Forrest, who was then, like herself, seeking 
an opening at the London theatres. The shrewd manager 
thought that perhaps two American Stars might fill his house. 

Charlotte's reply was characteristic of her acuteness. " Give 
me," she said to the manager, " a chance first. If I succeed, I 
can well afford to play with Mr. Forrest ; if I fail, I shall be 
only too glad to do so." She made her debut as Bianca in 
Fazio. The first act, in which the dialogue is tame, passed off 
ominously. The audience were attentive, but undemonstrative. 
The actress retired to her dressing-room much depressed with 



24 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the fear of failure. " This will never do, Sally," she remarked 
to her negro waiting-maid, then and still her affectionate at- 
tendant. 

"No, indeed, it won't, miss; but you'll fetch um bimeby," 
said the faithful creature. The play quietly proceeded until 
Bianca spoke the lines, — 

" Fazio, thou hast seen Aldabella 1 " 

Those words, in which love, anger, and jealousy were all 
struggling for the mastery, uttered with indescribable accent 
and energy, startled the audience out of its well-bred, cold- 
blooded propriety ; cheers filled the house, and Miss Cushman 
remained mistress of the situation. " 

She afterwards appeared in conjunction with Mr. Forrest; but 
that gentleman, who had then for the nonce put a curb upon 
his fashion of tearing a passion to tatters, was overshadowed by 
her. Forrest resented the preference of the public by extreme 
rudeness to Charlotte on the stage, and by various unfriendly 
acts, which caused a rupture that was never healed. Forrest 
played Othello on the occasion above mentioned, Miss Cush- 
man sustaining the part of Emilia. Her performance was 
throughout intelligent, impressive, natural, without any strain- 
ing after effect ; while her energy, at times, completely carried 
the audience along with her. 

By the friendship of Charles Kemble^nd of Mr. Phelps of 
Sadler's "Wells she attracted the favorable notice of royalty. 
It is a fact as singular as it is true, that, on her return from 
England, Boston, the city of her birth, was the only place in 
which she did not at once meet a cordial reception ; but her 
talents compelled their own recognition and buried the few 
paltry detractors out of sight. She appeared at the Federal 
Street Theatre and won an enthusiastic verdict of popular favor 
within that old temple of histrionic art. 

The part in which Miss Cushman has achieved her greatest 
reputation in this country is that of Meg Merrilies in " Guy 
Mannering," a creation peculiarly her own. The character, not- , 
withstanding its repulsive features, becomes in her hands weird, 



. THE GATEWAY OF OLD MIDDLESEX. 25 

terrible, and fascinating. Her somewhat masculine physique 
and angular physiognomy have given more character to the as- 
sumption of such male parts as Ion and Borneo than is usually 
the case with her sex. But Miss Cushman is a real artiste, 
limited to no narrow sphere of her calling. She could play 
Queen Catharine and Mrs. Simpson in. the same evening with 
equal success, and retains in no small degree, though verging 
on threescore, the energy and dramatic force of her palmy 
days. 

At the opening of the Cushman School in Boston, Charlotte 
made an extempore address to the scholars, in which she ex- 
plained to them her grand principle of action and the secret of 
her success. " Whatever you have to do," she said, " do it 
with all your might." 



26 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTER II. 

AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 

" There, where your argosies with portly sail, — 
"Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood, 
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea, — 
Do over-peer the petty traffickers." 

Merchant of Venice. 

THEEE is a singular fascination in viewing objects created 
expressly for our destruction. The wounded soldier will 
make the most convulsive efforts to see the place where he has 
been struck, and if the leaden bullet which has so nearly threat- 
ened his life be placed in his hand, he regards it thereafter with 
a strange, unaccountable affection. So, when we find ourselves 
within the government dockyard we cannot pass by the rows 
of cannon gleaming in the sunshine, or the pyramids of shot 
and shell, without wondering how many they are destined to 
destroy. We have not yet learned to dispense with war, and 
the problem " How to kill " yet taxes the busiest brain, the 
most inventive genius. 

Somehow, too, there is a certain consciousness the moment 
you set foot within any little strip of territory over which 
Uncle Sam exercises exclusive authority. The trig, pipe-clayed 
marine paces stiffly up and down before the entrance, hugging 
his shining musket as if it were a piece of himself, and looking 
straight before him, though you would feel yourself more at 
ease if he would look at you. The officer you see coming, in 
the laced cap, and to whom you would fain address yourself, 
never allows your eye to meet his own, but marches straight 
on, as he would do if he were going to storm a battery. The 
workmen, even, pursue their labor without the cheerful cries and 
chaffing which enliven the toil of their brethren outside. The 



■hL 




wm< 



mWmm 



! :;. ; «|! 






,j:i 



AN HOUR IX THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 27 

calkers' mallets seem to click in unison, the carpenters chip 
thoughtfully away on the live-oak frame. Everything is syste- 
matic, orderly, and precise, but rather oppressive withal. 

In the first years of the nation's existence the government 
was obliged to make use of private yards, and that of Edmund 
Hartt, in Boston, may be considered the progenitor of this. 
Several vessels of the old navy, among them the famed Con- 
stitution, were built there, under supervision of officers ap- 
pointed by the government. Henry Jackson, formerly colonel 
of the Sixteenth Continental Eegiment, was appointed naval 
agent by his bosom friend, General Knox, when the latter was 
Secretary of War, and Caleb Gibbs, first commander of Wash- 
ington's famous body-guard, was made naval storekeeper, with an 
office in Batterymarch Street, Boston. The yard at the bottom 
of Milk Street was also used for naval purposes by the govern- 
ment. 

When Admiral Montague of the royal navy was stationed in 
our waters, he caused a survey of the harbor to be made, and is 
reported on good authority to have then said, " The devil got 
into the government for placing the naval depot at Halifax. God 
Almighty made Noddle's Island on purpose for a dockyard." 

In 1799 the government despatched Mr. Joshua Humphries, 
the eminent naval architect, to Boston, to examine the pro- 
posed sites. The report was favorable to Charlestown, much 
to the chagrin of the proprietors of Noddle's Island, now East 
Boston, who had reckoned on a different decision. As Mr. 
John Harris, the principal owner of the tract selected, and 
Dr. Putnam, the government agent, were unable to agree upon 
terms, the affair was decided by a decree of the Middlesex 
Court of Sessions. 

The purchase made by the United States was originally 
called Moulton's Point, from Robert Moulton, the ship- carpen- 
ter ; it has also been indifferently styled Moreton's and Morton's 
Point, in connection with accounts of the battle of Bunker 
Hill, it being the place where Howe's main body landed on 
that day. The site also embraced what was known in old 
times as Dirty Marsh. The point was quite early selected for 



28 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

a fortification, and a small battery, or, as it was then called, a 
sconce, was thrown up, and armed with light pieces. The guns 
were secretly removed by the patriots in the autumn of 1774, 
without exciting the least suspicion of what was taking place 
on board the British vessels of war in the stream. Upon the 
evacuation of Boston this was one of the points which Wash- 
ington directed his chief of artillery to fortify. 

That part of the town in the neighborhood of the yard was 
long ago called Wapping, a circumstance which it has been 
thought proper to 'distinguish by a street of that name. In the 
days of the Great Eebellion this now unsavory locality could 
not have been much inferior to its prototype by the Thames, 
and poor Jack, in making his exit from the yard after a long 
cruise, had to run the gauntlet of all the merciless land-sharks 
that infested the place. At one time, however, the neighbor- 
hood was of quite a different cast, and some of the artisans 
of the yard found a convenient residence here ; among others, 
Josiah Barker, for thirty-four years the distinguished naval con- 
structor at this station, lived in Wapping Street, in a house still 
standing on the north side of the street as you approach the 
yard from Chelsea Street. 

The first records of this station begin in 1815, when an 
aggregate of forty-four officers and men was borne on the 
rolls, while it is said as many as six thousand were employed 
here during the Eebellion. In the beginning of the year men- 
tioned, which was just at the conclusion of war with Great 
Britain, there was but a single wharf in the yard. The 
frigates Congress, Macedonian, Constitution, the seventy-fours 
Washington and Independence, and the brig Chippewa were 
then lying here. 

A lady who visited the yard in 1824, and recorded her impres- 
sions, gives a somewhat humorous account of the difficulties she 
encountered. She says : — 

"The United States Navy- Yard is likewise located in Charles- 
town. A few marines are also stationed here ; the most trifling, 
abandoned-looking men, from their appearance, to be found. I 
applied to the Commandant, Major W — —, for liberty to inspect the 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 29 

interior of the yard, but this haughty bashaw sent word l he ivas en- 
gaged, and that I must report my business to the lieutenant/ — rather 
a reproach to Uncle Sam. As in duty bound, I obeyed his high- 
ness, and called on the lieutenant, whom I found unqualified to give 
the information I wished to obtain; and, after undergoing sundry 
indignities from these mighty men of war, I had to give up the 
design." 

Commodore Samuel Nicholson was the first commandant of 
the yard, and the somewhat peculiar architecture of the house 
used as a residence by the commodores is a specimen of his 
taste, — 

' ' The brave old commodore, 
The rum old commodore." 

When the Constitution was building, Nicholson, who was to 
have her, exercised a general supervision over her construction ; 
though, notwithstanding anything that has been said, Colonel 
George Claghorn was the principal and authorized constructor. 

In consequence of the narrow limits of Hartt's Yard, it had 
been agreed that no spectators should be admitted on the day 
previous to that fixed for the launch, without the permission 
of Captain Nicholson, Colonel Claghorn, or General Jackson. 
While the workmen were at breakfast Colonel Claghorn had 
admitted some ladies and gentlemen to view the ship, but when 
they attempted to go on board Nicholson forbade their enter- 
ing. This was communicated to Colonel Claghorn. In the af- 
ternoon of the same day some visitors who had been denied an 
entrance to the ship by Nicholson were admitted by Claghorn, 
who, however, was not aware that they had been previously 
refused permission. The captain, who was furious when he 
saw the men he had just turned away approaching, exclaimed 
to Claghorn, " D — n it ! do you know whom you have admitted, 
and that I have just refused them 1 " The latter replied that 
he did not know that circumstance, but, having passed his 
word, they might go on board. The whole party being assem- 
bled on the Constitution's deck, Colonel Claghorn went up to 
the captain and desired, with some heat, that he might not treat 
these visitors as he had done the ladies in the morning; to 



30 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

which Nicholson replied that he should say no more to them, 
but that he had a right to command on board his own ship. 
To this Claghorn rejoined that he commanded on board the 
ship, and that if Captain Nicholson did not like the regula- 
tions, he might go out of her. Upon this the parties im- 
mediately collared each other, and Nicholson, who carried a 
cane, attempted to strike his adversary, but the bystanders in- 
terfered and separated the belligerents. The affair was settled 
by mutual apologies. Nicholson died in Charlestown in 1811, 
and was buried under Christ Church, in Boston. It was said 
that Preble, who was appointed to the Constitution under Nich- 
olson, declined serving with him, and expressed doubts of his 
courage. General Knox's son, Henry Jackson Knox, was a 
midshipman on board Old Ironsides on her first cruise. 

Hull was one of the early commanders of the yard. The 
receiving-ship Ohio, now at this station, carried his flag in the 
Mediterranean in 1839, Bainbridge was commandant at the 
time of Lafayette's visit in 1824. These two men, famous in 
the annals of the American Navy, could conquer their invinci- 
ble adversaries yard-arm to yard-arm, and afterwards gain their 
hearts by the most kindly offices to them while prisoners. 
Dacres, whom Hull captured in the Guerriere, became his friend 
in after time. We may here relate an episode of Bainbridge 
and the Java. • 

Early in 1845 the Constitution, then commanded by Mad 
Jack Percival, cast anchor in the roadstead of Singapore. She 
had on her way taken out Henry A. Wise, our minister to 
Brazil, and was on special service in the East Indies and 
Pacific. The vertical rays of a tropic sun and the deadly 
breezes of the African coast had made a hospital of the ship ; 
her gun-deck on the starboard side was hung with cots and 
hammocks. The captain had given up the forward cabin to 
the sick. The exterior of the old invincible responded mourn- 
fully to the interior. Pier hull had been painted a dull lead- 
color at Rio, faintly enlivened by a red streak; but a long pas- 
sage across the Indian Ocean had brought her old sable color 
here and there into view, while the streaks of iron-rust down 
her sides told her condition but too plainly. 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 31 

Before the anchor was let go a boat with an officer from 
H. B. M. frigate Cambrian came alongside with the compliments 
and friendly offers of Commodore Chads. The officer's return 
brought the gallant commodore on board the Constitution. He 
was a fine-looking man of about fifty, more than six feet, per- 
fectly erect, and as he stepped over the gangway he simulta- 
neously saluted the officers who received him, at the same time 
surveying the ship fore and aft, and alow and aloft. The spar- 
deck of the old ship looked passing well, and the commodore's 
scrutiny was not at all mortifying. He then descended to the 
cabin, where Captain Percival received him on crutches. 

" I have hastened on board your ship," said Commodore 
Chads, " to offer my services, having heard you were sick, as 
well as many of your people ; and I have brought my surgeon, 
who has been long out here, and is familiar with the diseases 
of India." 

He then inquired if this was the same ship called the Con- 
stitution in 1813. Having been told that she was the same in 
model, battery, and internal arrangements, although rebuilt, he 
said he was very glad to meet her again ; that she was an old 
acquaintance ; and that in the action of the Java he had the 
honor to fight her after Captain Lambert was disabled ; and 
that, although he had hauled down his colors to the Constitu- 
tion, there were no reminiscences more pleasing to him than 
those resulting from the skill, gallantry, and bravery of the 
noble Bainbridge during and after the action. " The Constitu- 
tion, sir, was manoeuvred in a masterly manner, and it made me 
regret that she was not British. It was Greek meet Greek, for 
we were the same blood, after all." These particulars are from 
a letter supposed to have been from the pen of Mr. Ballestier, 
our Consul at Singapore. Mrs. Ballestier, who accompanied 
her husband to the East Indies, was a daughter of the famous 
Paul Revere. 

Commodore Hull was rather short and thick-set, with' a 
countenance deeply bronzed by long exposure to sun and 
weather he having gone to sea when a boy. He was- a man 
of plain, unassuming manners, and rather silent than loquacious. 



32 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Cooper, who knew him well, describes him as one of the most 
skilful seamen of history, remarkable for coolness in moments 
of danger. He seldom mentioned his exploits, but sometimes, 
when the famous action with the Guerriere was alluded to, he 
would speak with enthusiasm of the beautiful day in August 
on which that battle was fought. 

The two Commodores Hull, uncle and nephew,'" married sis- 
ters belonging to the family of Hart, of Saybrook, Connecticut, 
and remarkable for their beauty. Another sister married Hon. 
Herman Allen, of Vermont, at one time minister to Chili; 
while still another was the wife of Eev. Dr. Jarvis of St. Paul's, 
Boston. The most beautiful of the sisters, Jeanette, never mar- 
ried, but went to Eome and became a nun. She is said to 
have been, in her day, the handsomest woman in America. 
Another nephew of Isaac Hull was the late Admiral Andrew 
Hull Foote, who was so greatly distinguished in the early part 
of the Eebellion, receiving, at Fort Donelson, a wound that 
eventually contributed to cause his death. 

It appears, from excellent authority, that the original draft 
of the Constitution was changed at the suggestion of Colonel 
George Claghorn, who ought therefore to be regarded as the 
person most entitled to the credit of having created the pride of 
the navy, as it was to him her construction was confided. The 
subject of an alteration in her dimensions had been verbally 
broached to the Secretary of War — who also presided over 
our infant marine at that time — when he was in Boston in 
1794. General Knox consented, in" presence of the agent, Gen- 
eral Jackson ; but Claghorn, having been a soldier, was not 
satisfied until he obtained the authority in writing. 

At the festival in Faneuil Hall given to Captain Hull on his 
return from the fight with the Guerriere, Ex-President Adams, 
who, on account of his infirmities was unable to be present, 
sent the following toasts, which were read by Hon. Samuel 
Dexter : — 

" May every commodore in our navy soon be made an admiral, 
and every captain a commodore, with ships and squadrons worthy 

* Commodore Joseph B. Hull. 



AN HOUK IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. oo 

of their commanders and worthy of the wealth, power, and dignity 
of their country. Proh dolor ! Proh pudor ! " 

" Talbot, Truxtun, Decatur, Little, Preble, — had their country 
given them the means, they would have been Blakes, Drakes, and 

Nelsons." 

On her return to port from this cruise the Constitution spoke 
the Dolphin and Decatur, privateers, the latter of which, think- 
ing she was pursued by an enemy, threw her guns overboard. 
It is at least a coincidence that the news of the surrender of 
Detroit by General Hull should have reached Boston only a 
few hours after the arrival of his nephew, Captain Hull, from 
his successful combat. Shubrick commanded the yard in 1825, 
Crane in 1826, and Morris from 1827 to 1833, when he was 
succeeded by Jesse D. Elliott. 

The park of naval artillery bears as little resemblance to the 
cannon of a century ago as do the war-ships of to-day to those 
commanded by Manley, Jones, or Hopkins. No event will 
better illustrate the advance in gunnery than the battle be- 
tween the Kearsarge and Alabama, off Cherbourg. The naval 
tactics of the first period were to lay a ship alongside her ad- 
versary, and then let courage and hard fighting win the day. 
But nowadays close actions are avoided, or considered unneces- 
sary, and instances of individual gallantry become more rare. 
Ships toss their heavy shot at each other a mile away, without 
the least knowledge of the damage they inflict, and Old Shy- 
lock is now only half right when he says, 

" Ships are but boards, sailors but men," 

for iron succeeds oak, though no substitute is yet found for 
bone and muscle. 

In the beginning of the Revolution cannon was the most 
essential thing wanted. Ships were built and manned with 
alacrity, but all kinds of shifts were made to supply them 
with guns. A fleet of privateers was soon afloat in the waters 
of Massachusetts Bay, and public vessels were on the stocks, 
but how they were armed may be inferred from the following 
extract from a letter dated at Boston, September 1, 177G : — 



3-4 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

" There is so great a demand for guns here for fitting out priva- 
teers that those old things that used to stick in the ground, particu- 
larly at Bowes's Corner,* Admiral Vernon, etc., have been taken 
up, and sold at an immoderate price ; that at Mr. Bowes's was sold 
by Mr. Jones for fifty dollars. I imagine it will sp it in the first 
attempt to fire it." 

The Hancock, which was the second Continental frigate 
launched, and was commanded by Captain Manley, as well as 
the Old Boston frigate, Captain McNeill, were both armed with 
guns, chiefly nine-pounders, taken from the works in Boston 
harbor, and furnished by Massachusetts. The Hancock was 
built and launched at Newburyport, and not at Boston, as has 
been stated. Manley, the first sea officer to attack the enemy 
on that element, received in 1792 a compensation of £150, 
and a pension of £ 9 per month for life. 

Unlike the celebrated English dockyard and arsenal at Wool- 
wich, our dockyards are only utilized for naval purposes, while 
the former is the depot for the royal horse and foot artillery 
and the royal sappers and miners, with vast magazines of 
great guns, mortars, bombs, powder, and other warlike stores. 
The Eoyal Military Academy was erected in the arsenal, but 
was not completely formed until 1745, in the reign of George 
II. It would seem that the same system might be advan- 
tageously carried out in this country, so far as the corps of 
engineers and artillery are concerned, with the benefit of com- 
bining practical with theoretical instruction upon those points 
where there exists an identity of interest in the military 1 and 
naval branches of the service. 

The area of the great British dockyard is about the same as 
that of the Charlestown yard, but in depth of water in front 
the latter has greatly the advantage, the Thames being so shal- 
low at "Woolwich that large ships are now chiefly constructed at 
the other naval ports. We may here mention that Woolwich 
is the most ancient arsenal in Great Britain, men-of-war having 
been built there as early as the reign of Henry VIII. , when the 
Harry Grace de Dieu was constructed in 1512. The Royal 

* South Corner of State and Washington Streets. 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 



George, in which Kempenfelt went down at Spithead, and the 
Nelson, Trafalgar, and other first-rates, were also built at Wool- 
wich. 

When we look around upon the wonderful progress .of the 
steam marine 
during the past 
quarter of a cen- 
tury, and reflect 
upon its possibil- 
ities, the predic- 
tion of the cele- 
brated Dr. Dio- 
nysius Lardner, 
that steam could 
never be profit- 
ably employed 




THE GREAT HARRY. 



tion, seems incredible. Thirty years ago this was demonstrated 
by the Doctor with facts and figures, models and diagrams. 

In the summer of 1781 the port of Boston was almost sealed 
by the constant presence of British cruisers in the bay, who took 
many valuable prizes and brought several mercantile houses to 
the verge of ruin. The merchants accordingly besought Ad- 
miral Le Compte de Barms to send some of his frigates from 
Newport round to Boston ; but the Count replied that the efforts 
already made to induce his men to desert and engage on board 
privateers compelled him to refuse the request. The merchants 
then sent a committee composed of Messrs. Sears, Broome, 
Breck, and others, to assure the Count that his men should not 
be taken under any circumstances. 

The Count's compliance resulted in the loss of one of his 
ships, the Magicienne, of thirty-two guns, which was taken by 
the Assurance, a British two-decker, in Boston harbor. The 
action was so plainly visible from the wharves of the town, 
that the French colors were seen to be struck and the English 
hoisted in their stead. The French ships Sagittaire, fifty 
guns, Astrie, thirty-two, and Hermione, thirty-two, were in tlje 



oU HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 




harbor when the 

battle commenced, 

and immediately got 

under weigh to go 

to the assistance of 

their consort ; but 

the wind being light 

and the Sagittaire 

a dull sailer, the 

enemy escaped with 

his prize. Many 

Bostonians went on 

board the French 

ti ships as volunteers 

g in the expected ac- 

H tion. Colonel Da- 
ns 

w vid Sears was among 
I the number who 
* joined the Astrie in 
§ the expectation of 
S enjoying some di- 
rt version of this sort. 
£ The merchants of 
Boston afterwards 
gave a splendid din- 
ner to the Marquis 
de Gergeroux, the 
commander of the 
French fleet, and his 
officers, for the ser- 
vices rendered in 
keeping the bay 
clear of the enemy's 
cruisers. 

Nelson, who in 
1782 was ordered 
to cruise in the 
Albemarle on the 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 37 

American station, fell in with a fishing schooner on our coast, 
which he captured, but the master, having piloted the cruiser 
into Boston Bay, was released with his vessel and the following 

certificate : — 

" This is to certify that I took the schooner Harmony, Nathaniel 
Carver, master, belonging to Plymouth, but on account of his good 
services have given him up his vessel again. 

" Dated on board His Majesty's ship Albemarle, 
17th August, 1782. 

" Horatio Nelson." 

The grateful man afterwards came off to the Albemarle, at 
the hazard of his life, bringing a present of sheep, poultry, and 
other fresh provisions, — a most welcome supply, for the scurvy 
was raging on board. Nelson exhibited a similar trait of 
nobility in releasing two officers of Kochambeau's army, who 
were captured in a boat in the West Indies while on some ex- 
cursion. Count Deux-Ponts was one and Isidore Lynch the 
other captive. Nelson gave them a capital dinner, and the 
wine having got into their heads, the secret imprudently came 
out that Lynch was of English birth. The poor prisoners were 
thunderstruck at the discovery, but Nelson, without appearing 
to have overheard the indiscretion, set both at liberty. 

It sounds somewhat strangely at this time to recall the fact 
that the United States once paid tribute to the ruler of a horde 
of pirates, to induce him to hold off his hands from our com- 
merce ; and that our captured crews were sold into slavery or 
held for ransom at the behest of a turbaned barbarian. Six 
thousand stand of arms, four field-pieces, and a quantity of 
gunpowder was the price of the peace granted by the Dey of 
Algiers to America in 1795. In May, 1794, an exhibition was 
given at the Boston Theatre for the relief of our countrymen, 
prisoners in Algiers, which realized about nine hundred dollars. 
Dominie Terry & Co. advanced $3,000 for the maintenance of 
these prisoners, without security. 

Of the early commanders of our navy Hopkins was de- 
scribed in 1776 as an antiquated-looking person, with a strong 



38 HISTOItIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

ideal resemblance to Van Trorap. He appeared at first an- 
gelic, says our authority, until he swore, and then the illusion 
vanished. Hopkins commanded the first American squadron 
that set sail from our shores, and carried the colony flag at his 
gaff. 




NAVY-YARD IN 1858. 

Paul Jones had the honor not only of hoisting with his own 
hands the American flag on board the Alfred, in 1775, which 
he says was then displayed for the first time, but of receiving 
in the Ranger the first salute to that flag by a foreign power 
from M. de la Mbtte Piquet, who, with a French squadron, on 
board of which was Lafayette, was lying in the bay of Quiberon, 
ready to sail for America. This occurred February 13, 1778. 

Next comes a half-acre of round-shot and shell arranged 
in pyramids, and waiting till the now torpid Dahlgrens or 
Parrotts shake off their lethargy and demand their indigest- 
ible food. Some of the globes are painted black, befitting 
their funereal purpose, while we observed that others had 
received a coat of white, and now looked like great sugar- 
coated pills, — a sharp medicine to carry off the national 
bile. 

To the field of deadly projectiles succeeds a field of anchors, 
the last resource of the seaman, the symbol of Hope in all the 
civilized world. 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 



19 




STANCH AND STRONG. 



The invention of the anchor is ascribed by Pliny to the 
Tyrrhenians^ and by other writers to Midas, the son of Gor- 
dias, whose anchor Pausanias declares was preserved until his 
time in a temple dedicated to Jupiter. The most ancient an- 
chors were made 
of stone, and af- 
terwards of wood 
which contained 
a great quantity 
of lead ; some- 
times baskets 
filled with stones, 
or shingle, and 
even sacks of 
sand were used. 
The Greeks used much the same anchor as is now in vogue, 
except the transverse piece called the stock. Many of the an- 
chors used by our first war- vessels came from the Old Forge at 
Hanover, Mass. 

If we might linger here, it would be to reflect on which of 
these ponderous masses of metal the fate of some good ship 
with her precious burden of lives had depended ; with what 
agony of suspense the tension of the stout cable had been 
watched from hour to hour as the greedy waves rushed by to 
throw themselves with a roar of baffled rage upon the flinty 
shore. Remember, craftsman, in your mighty workshop yon- 
der, wherein you wield forces old Vulcan might have envied, 
that life and death are in every stroke of your huge trip-ham- 
mer ; and that a batch of rotten iron may cost a thousand 
lives. " 

" Let's forge a goodly anchor, — a bower thick and broad; 
For a heart of oak is hanging on every blow, I bode ; 
And I see the good ship riding all in a perilous road, — 
The low reef roaring on her lee ; the roll of ocean poured 
From stem to stern, sea after sea ; the mainmast by the board ; 
The bulwarks down ; the rudder gone ; the boat stove at the chains ; 
But courage still, brave mariners, — the bower yet remains ! 
And not an inch to flinch he deigns, save when ye pitch sky high; 
Then moves his head, as though he said, ' Fear nothing, here am T ! ' : ' 



40 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

We can compare the granite basin, fashioned to receive the 
great warships, to nothing else than a huge bath wherein some 
antique giant might disport himself. It seems a miracle of 
intelligence, skill, and perseverance. When Loammi Baldwin 
was applied to to undertake the building of the Dry Dock, 
he hesitated, and asked Mr. Southard, then Secretary of 
the Navy, " What if I should fail 1 " " If you do," replied 
the Secretary, " we will hang you." It proved a great suc- 
cess, worthy to be classed among the other works of this dis- 
tinguished engineer. 

The foundation rests upon piles on which is laid a massive 
oaken floor. We cannot choose but admire the great blocks of 
hewn granite, and the exact and elegant masonry. Owing to 
some defect, when nearly completed, a rupture took place in 
the wall, and a thundering rush of water came in and filled 
the excavation, but it was soon pumped out and effectually 
repaired. 

After an examination of the records of the tides in Bos- 
ton harbor for the previous sixty years, Mr. Baldwin fixed 
the height of the capping of the dock several inches above 
the highest that had occurred within that period. In the 
gale of April, 1851, however, the tide rose to such a height 
as to overflow the dock, falling in beautiful cascades along its 
whole length. The basin occupied six years in building »; Job 
Turner, of Boston, being the master mason, under Colonel 
Baldwin. It was decided that Old Ironsides should be the 
first vessel admitted ; and upon the opening of the structure, 
June 24, 1833, Commodore Hull appeared once more on 
the deck of his old ship and superintended her entrance with- 
in the dock. The gallant old sailor moved about the deck 
with his head bare, and exhibited as much animation as he 
would have done in battle. The Vice-President, Mr. Van 
Buren, the Secretary of War, Mr. Cass, Mr. Southard, and 
other distinguished guests graced the occasion by their pres- 
ence, while the officers at the station were required to be pres- 
ent in full uniform. 

The Constitution was here rebuilt by Mr. Barker. He had 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 41 

served in the Revolution both in the army and navy. In the 
latter service he sailed with Captain Manley in the Hague, 
formerly the Deane, frigate, on a cruise among the West India 
Islands. His first ship-yard was within the limits of the pres- 
ent government yard, and here he began to set up vessels as 
early as 1795. Later, he removed his yard to a site near the 
state-prison. While naval constructor Mr. Barker built the 
Independence, Virginia, and Vermont, seventy-fours, and the 
sloops-of-war Frolic, Marion, Cyane, and Bainbridge. Thatcher 
Magoun, the well-known shipbuilder of Medford, received his 
instruction in modelling from Josiah Barker. 

Before the Constitution was taken out of dock, a brand-new 
ship, a figure-head of President Jackson had been fixed to her 
prow by Commodore Elliott, who then commanded the yard. 
If it had been desired to test the President's popularity in the 
JS T ew England States no act could have been more happily 
devised. A universal shout of indignation went up from press 
and people ; for the old ship was little less than adored by all 
classes, and to affix the bust of any living personage was 
deemed an indignity. 

In that immense crowd, which had witnessed the re-baptism 
of Old Ironsides, stood a young Cape Cod seaman. His father, 
a brave old captain in the 3d Artillery, had doubtless instilled 
some strong republican ideas into the youngster's head, for he 
had accompanied him to Fort Warren * during the War of 1812, 
and while there the lad had seen from the rampart the doomed 
Chesapeake lift her anchor, and go forth to meet the Shannon. 
He had heard the cannonade off in the bay, had noted the hush 
of the combat, and had shared in the anguish with which all 
hearts were penetrated at the fatal result. 

Old Ironsides was moored with her head to the west, be- 
tween the seventy-fours Columbus and Independence. The 
former vessel had a large number of men on board, and a sen- 
tinel was placed where he could keep the figure-head in view ; 
another was posted on the wharf near at hand, and a third 
patrolled the forecastle of the Constitution ; from an open port 

* Now Fort Winthrop. 



42 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

of the Columbus the light fell full upon the graven features 
all these precautions were designed to protect. 

On the night of the 2d of July occurred a thunder-storm 
of unusual violence. The lightning played around the masts 
of the shipping, and only by its lurid flash could any object 
be distinguished in the blackness. Young Dewey — he was 
only twenty-eight — unmoored his boat from Billy Gray's 
Wharf in Boston, and, with his oar muffled in an old woollen 
comforter, sculled out into the darkness. He had reconnoitred 
the position of the ships by day, and was prepared at all points. 
At length he found himself alongside the Independence, the 
outside ship, and worked his way along her big black side, 
which served to screen him from observation. 

Dewey climbed up the Constitution's side by the man-ropes 
and ensconced himself in the bow, protected by the headboards, 
only placed on the ship the same day. He extended himself 
on his back, and in this position "sawed off the head. While 
here he saw the sentry on the wharf from time to time looking 
earnestly towards the spot where he was at work, but the 
lightning and the storm each time drove the guard back to the 
shelter of his box. 

Having completed his midnight assassination Dewey re- 
gained his boat, to find her full of water. She had swung 
under the scupper of the ship and had received the torrent that 
poured from her deck. In this plight, but never forgetting the 
head he had risked his life to obtain, Dewey reached the shore. 
We can never think of this scene, with its attendant circum- 
stances, without remembering Cooper's episode of the weird 
lady of the Eed Rover. 

If this act proves Dewey to have been a cool hand, the one 
we are to relate must cap the climax. After the excitement 
caused by the affair — and it was of no ordinary kind — had 
subsided, Dewey packed up the grim and corrugated features 
he had decapitated and posted off to Washington. At Phila- 
delphia his secret leaked out, and he was obliged to exhibit his 
prize to John Tyler and Willie P. Mangum, afterwards Presi- 
dent and acting Vice-President, who were then investigating 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 43 

the affairs of the United States Bank. These grave and rev- 
erend seigniors shook their sides as they regarded the colossal 
head, now brought so low, and parted with Captain Dewey 
with warm and pressing offers of service. 

The Captain's intention to present the head to General 
Jackson himself was frustrated by the dangerous illness of 
the President, to whom all access was denied. He however 
obtained an audience of Mr. Van Buren, the Vice-President, 
who at once overwhelmed him with civilities after the manner 
in which that crafty old fox was wont to lay siege to the sus- 
ceptibilities of all who approached him. Upon Dewey's an- 
nouncing himself as the person who had taken off the Consti- 
tution's figure-head Mr. Van Buren gave a great start and was 
thrown off his usual balance. Recovering himself, he demanded 
the particulars of the exploit, which seemed to afford him no 
small satisfaction. Captain Dewey wished him to receive the 
head. " Go to Mr. Dickerson," said the Vice-President, " it 
belongs to his department ; say you have come from me." 
To Mahlon Dickerson, Secretary of the Navy, our hero accord- 
ingly went. 

The venerable Secretary was busily engaged with a heap of 
papers, and requested his visitor to be brief. This hint was 
not lost on the Captain. 

" Mr. Dickerson, I am the person who removed the figure- 
head from the Constitution, and I have brought it with me for 
the purpose of returning it to the Government." 

The Secretary threw himself back in his chair, pushed his 
gold-bowed spectacles with a sudden movement up on his fore- 
head, and regarded with genuine astonishment the man who, 
after evading the most diligent search for his discovery, now 
came forward and made this voluntary avowal. Between amaze- 
ment and choler the old gentleman could scarce sputter out, — 

" You, sir ! you ! What, sir, did you have the audacity to 
disfigure a ship of the United States Navy ? " 

" Sir, / took the responsibility." 

" Well, sir, I '11 have you arrested immediately " \ and the 
Secretary took up the bell to summon a messenger. 



44 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

" Stop, sir," said the Captain, " you cannot inflict any pun- 
ishment ; I can only be sued for a trespass, and in the county 
where the offence was committed. Say the word, and I will 
go back to Charlestown and await my trial ; but if a Middle- 
sex jury don't give me damages, my name 's not Dewey." The 
Captain had explored his ground : there was no statute at that 
time against defacing ships of war, and he knew it. Mr. Dick- 
erson, an able lawyer, reflected a moment, and then put down 
his bell. " You are right, sir," said he ; " and now tell me all 
about the affair." 

The Captain remained some time closeted with the Secretary, 
of whose treatment he had no reason to complain. 

All these incidents, recently related by Captain Dewey to 
the writer, stamp him as a man of no common decision of 
character. He resolved, deliberated upon, planned, and exe- 
cuted his enterprise without the assistance of a single indi- 
vidual, — dne person only receiving a hint from him at the 
moment he set out, as a precaution in case any accident 
might befall him. Though approximating to the Scriptural 
limit of human life, Captain Dewey shows little sign of decay. 
A man of middle stature, his sandy hair is lightly touched 
with gray, his figure but little bent; his* complexion is florid, 
perhaps from the effects of an early seafaring life ; his mouth 
is expressive of determined resolution, and an eye of bluish 
gray lights up in moments of animation a physiognomy far 
from unpleasant. He is not the man to commit an act of mere 
bravado, but is devoted to his convictions of right with the 
zeal of a Mussulman. We may safely add that he was never a 
Jackson Democrat. 

The names of several of the vessels constructed by Mr. 
Barker have become historical. The Frolic was captured in 
1814 by H. B. M. frigate Orpheus and an armed schooner, 
after a chase of sixty miles, during which the Frolic threw her 
lee guns overboard. She was rated as a vessel of 18 guns, 
but was built to carry twenty 32-pounder carronades and two 
long 18- or 24-pounders. At the time of her capture she was 
commanded by Master-Commandant Bainbridge. 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 45 

The Independence was launched July 20, 1814, during hos- 
tilities with Great Britain, and was the first seventy-four afloat in 
our navy, — if the America, launched in 1782, and given to the 
French, be excepted. Her first cruise was to the Mediterranean, 
where she carried the broad pennant of Commodore Bainbridge, 
and was the first of her class to display our Stars and Stripes 
abroad. Owing to a defect in her build she was afterwards 
converted into a serviceable double-banked 60-gun frigate. 
As such she has been much admired by naval critics, and was 
honored while lying at Cronstadt by a visit from the Czar 
Nicholas,'' 1 incognito. 

The Vermont has never made a foreign cruise, though in- 
tended in 1853 for the flagship of Commodore Perry's expedi- 
tion to Japan. The Virginia, sleeping like another Bip Van 
Winkle, in her big cradle for half a century, until she had be- 
come as unsuited to service as the galley of Medina Sidonia 
would be, remains in one of the ship-houses, a specimen of 
ancient naval architecture, with her bluff bows and sides tum- 
bling inboard. It would, perhaps, require a nautical eye such 
as we do not possess to determine which was the stem and 
which the stern of this ship. The Cumberland went down at 
Hampton Roads in trie unequal conflict with the Merrimac in 
March, 18G2. The Cyane, named after the British ship cap- 
tured by the Constitution, was broken up at Philadelphia in 
1836. 

The launch of the Merrimac, in the- summer of 1855, is 
a well-remembered scene. Such was the admiration of her 
beautiful proportions that it was generally said, if the other 
five frigates ordered to be built were like her, we should at 
length have a steam navy worthy of the name. Her model 
was furnished by Mr. Lenthall, chief of the Bureau of Con- 
struction, and she was built by Mr. Delano, then Naval Con- 
structor at this station, under the supervision of Commodore 
Gregory. Melvin Simmons was the master-carpenter. A year 
after her keel was laid she glided without accident into the 
element in which she was destined to play so important a part. 
* Captain Preble's Notes on Ship-buiMing in Massachusetts. 



46 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

She displayed at every available point the flag her batteries 
were turned against in her first and only battle. Many 
thousand spectators witnessed from the neighboring wharves, 
bridges, and shipping her splendid rush into the waters. The 
Ohio and Vermont, then lying at their moorings in the stream, 
were thronged with people who welcomed the good ship, at her 
parting from the shore, with loud huzzas. As she rode on the 
surface of the river, majestic and beautiful, no conjecture, we 
will venture to say, was made by any among that vast mul- 
titude of the powers of destruction she was destined to ex- 
hibit. At that time her size appeared remarkable, and so 
indeed it was when compared with the smaller craft among 
which she floated. Her armament was from the celebrated 
foundry of Cyrus Alger, South Boston. 

Eeturning from a peaceful cruise in the Pacific, she arrived 
at Norfolk early in February, 1860, and was lying at that 
station in ordinary when the flag of rebellion was raised at 
Charleston. But for the prevalence of treason in high places, 
the Merrimac would have been saved to our navy before the 
destruction of the dockyard at Norfolk, April 21, 1861. She 
became a rebel vessel, and, encased in iron, descended the 
river, appearing among our fleet in Hampton Eoads March 
8, 1862, where she pursued a course of havoc — her iron 
prow crashing into ^our wooden ships — unparalleled in naval 
annals. Her conflict on the following day with the little 
Monitor, commanded by the brave Worden, and of which the 
world may be said, in a manner, to have been spectators, is 
still fresh in the memories of the present generation. 

Napoleon, no mean judge, while candidly admitting the 
superiority of the English over the French sailors, asserted as 
his belief, that the Americans were better seamen than the 
English. It was the general belief in the British Navy, dur- 
ing the War of 1812, that our discipline was more severe than 
their own. If true, this would have gone far to confute the 
assertion that our crews were largely composed of British 
sailors. The truth is, that we always had plenty of the best 
sailors in the world. 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 47 

General Hyslop, who was on the quarter-deck of the Java 
during her contast with the Constitution, stated it as his con- 
viction that the American sailors were far more elastic and ac- 
tive in their habits than the British. He was astonished, also, 
at the superior gunnery of the crew of Old Ironsides, who 
were able to discharge three broadsides to two from the Java, 
thus adding one third to the weight of their fire. To this cir- 
cumstance he attributed the victory of Bainbridge. 

It is well known that the royal navy was long indebted to 
American forests for its masts, the Crown reserving fur this pur- 
pose the trees of a certain girth, to which an officer affixed the 
broad-arrow. The owner of the soil might, if he chose, cut 
doAvn and haul the king's trees to the nearest seaport, receiv- 
ing a certain compensation for his labor ; and one of the 
most notable old-time sights the Maine woods witnessed was 
the removal of the giant pines by a long train of oxen to the 
sea. As was tridy said of England, 

" E'en the tall mast that bears your flag on high 
Grew in our soil, and ripened in our sky." 

The mast-ship had its regular time for sailing from Piscata- 
qua (Portsmouth) or Falmouth (Portland), convoyed, in time 
of war with Prance, by a frigate. In process of time the in- 
creasing scarcity of timber led to the construction of ship's masts 
in sections. The first vessel in our navy to carry one of these 
sticks was the Constitution, whose mainmast, in 1803, when 
she sailed for Tripoli, was a made mast of twenty-eight pieces. 

Copper sheathing for vessels of war was first applied to the 
Alarm, British frigate, in 1758, but conductors, which we owe 
to the genius of Franklin, were first used on American ships, 
and previous to 1790. 

The cipher which is used in the United States to designate 
government property owes its origin, according to Frost's 
Naval History, to a joke. When the so-called last war with 
England broke out there were two inspectors of provisions at 
Troy, New York, named Ebenezer and Samuel Wilson. The 
latter gentleman (universally known as " Uncle Sam ") gen- 



48 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

erally superintended in person a large number of workmen, 
who, on one occasion, were employed in overhauling the pro- 
visions purchased by the contractor, Elbert Anderson of New 
York. The casks were marked " E. A. — U. S." This work 
fell to the lot of a facetious fellow, who, on being asked the 
meaning of the mark, said he did not know unless it meant 
Elbert Anderson and Uncle Sam, alluding to Uncle Sam Wil- 
son. The joke took and became very current. 

The Charlestown yard is further distinguished as having the 
only ropewalk under the control of the government, in which 
an endless twisting of the flexible material — from the slender 
thread which flies the youth's kite to the serpent-like folds of 
the great ship's cable — is forever going on. 

" At the end an open door; 
Squares of sunshine on the floor 

Light the long and dusky lane; 
And the whirring of a wheel, 
Dull and drowsy, makes me feel 
All its spokes are in my brain." 

Under cover of houses or temporary roofs are some of those 
sea- monsters whose creation dates from the Eebellion ; sub- 
marine volcanoes that hurl destruction by the ton, and vomit 
fire and smoke from their jaws. As they lie here upon the 
river's brink, with their iron scales and their long, low hulks, 
we can liken them to nothing else than so many huge alligators 
basking themselves in the sunshine to-day, but only waiting 
the signal to plunge their half submerged bodies into the stream 
and depart on their errand of havoc. Long may ye lie here 
powerless by the shore, ye harbingers of ruin ; and long may 
your iron entrails lack the food that, breathing life into those 
lungs of brass and steel, gives motion to your unwieldy bulk ! 
May ye lie here tied to the shore, until your iron crust drops 
off like the shell of any venerable crustacean, ere the tocsin 
again shall sound that lets slip such " dogs of war " ! 

The lower ship-house marks the beach where the choice 
troops of Old England left their boats and began their fatal 
march to Breed's Hill ; where the glittering and moving mass, 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 49 

extending itself like a painted wall, broke off into columns of 
attack. The light infantry and grenadiers keep the shore of the 
Mystic, and at length deploy in front of the stern old ranger, 
John Stark, and of the brave Knowlton, crouched behind their 
flimsy, simulated rampart of sweet-scented, new-mown hay. A 
flash, a rattling volley, and the line is enveloped in smoke, 
which, drifting slowly away before the breeze, reveals what was 
a wall of living steel rent into fragments, little scattered groups, 
while the space between is covered with the dead and dying. 
Reader, do you know the battle-field and its horrors, — an arm 
tossing here and there ; a limb stiffened after some grotesque 
fashion in the last act of the expiring will, the linger pressed 
against the trigger, the bayonet at the charge, while the green 
turf is dotted far and near with little fires fallen from the 
deadly muzzles 1 

Many of the slain in this battle were probably buried within 
the dockyard enclosure ; and they will show you at the Naval 
Institute a heap of bones brought to light while digging down 
the hill, — relics of the fight which the earth has given up be- 
fore their time. We have little sympathy with the exhibition 
of dead men's bones. These poor memorials of the brave de- 
serve Christian burial at our hands. Fallen far from the Welsh 
hills or Irish lakes, there is something uncanny and reproach- 
ful in their detention above ground ; a grave and a stone is due 
to the remains of those whose fate may one day be our own. 

Having thus circumnavigated the hundred acres of Uncle 
Sam's exclusive domain, we may congratulate that much-abused 
old gentleman upon the successful speculation he has made. 
The original estimates included only twenty-three acres, to be 
obtained from the following proprietors, namely : 

Seven acres of Harris, estimated worth $ 12,000 
Three " Stearns, " " 500 

Two " Broad " " 150 

Nine " " " " 3,600 $16,250 

Two acres additional wore procured in order 
to alter the road so as to get more room where 
the ships were to be built, and for which was 

paid, 

3 



3,000. 



50 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Subsequent purchases, together with the attendant expenses, 
swelled the first cost of the site to $ 40,000, for about eighty 
acres of land and marsh ; but the work of filling, which has con- 
stantly proceeded, has considerably extended the area. The 
government has expended about three and a half millions upon 
the yard, the value of the land alone being now estimated at 
nearly six millions. Efforts have been made to induce the re- 
moval to some other locality, in order to secure the site for 
commerce, but thus far without success. 

The Naval Institute, which comprises a museum, a library, 
and a reading-room, is very creditable to its founders and pro- 
moters. The walls of the museum are decorated with imple- 
ments of war, or of the chase, belonging to every nation between 
the poles, while the cabinets are well stocked with curiosities 
and relics to which every vessel arriving at the station brings 
accessions. It will readily be seen, with such unlimited op- 
portunities for bringing, free of cost, articles of value from the 
most remote climes, what collections might be made at the 
public dockyards were the government to give a little official 
stimulus to the object. 

The sword which Preble wore before Tripoli, and that of 
Captain Whynyates of H. M. ship Frolic, are here preserved, 
together with relics of the Boxer, the figure-head of the General 
Armstrong, privateer, and some memorials of the ill-fated Cum- 
berland. The library is valuable and well selected, but the 
books appear but little used. A huge aquatic fowl, which 
stands sentinel near the entrance to these rooms, seems to have 
been placed there for the convenience of cleaning pens, his- 
downy breast being seamed with inky stains. 

There are few trophies within the yard, the billet-head which 
the Constitution carried in 1812, and one of the umbrellas with 
which Hull walked his ship away from Broke's squadron, being 
the most noticeable. The latter is now utilized as an awning, 
and is placed over a music-stand, a perpetual reminder of, 

"A Yankee ship and a Yankee crew ! " 

The great wall of Tartary is not more formidable than is the 



AN HOUR IN THE GOVERNMENT DOCKYARD. 51 

granite fence which shoulders out the neighborhood, and speaks 
of the possibilities of invasion of these precincts by the rabble. 
The appearance without is that of a prison, or a fortress ; 
within, a vista of greensward stocked with cannon, with rows 
of poplars shading cold granite walls, confounds the vision. 
Joyous children are warned away from the enclosures by some 
battered old guardian who will never more be fit for sea. 
" Keep off ! " " Touch nothing ! " " Your pass ! " — So, we 
are free again. 



52 lllSTOlllC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTER III. 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 

" I 'd better gone an' sair'd the King, 
At Bunker's Hill." 
Burns. 

IN less than two years those . of us who live to see it will 
witness the centennial of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Fifty 
years will have elapsed since the corner-stone of the monument 
was laid, in the presence of General Lafayette, Daniel Webster, 

and of many survivors 
of the battle. It is 
not idle sentimentality 
that has hallowed the 
spot. A hundred thou- 
sand brave men have 
fought the better be- 
cause its traditions yet 
linger among us, and 
are still recounted 
around our firesides. 

Why is it that we 
can o'erleap the tre- 
mendous conflicts that 
have taken place since 
Bunker Hill, and still 
feel an undiminished 
interest in that day 1 ? 
It is not the battle, for 



it was fought without 

BUNKER HILL MONUMENT. i ,1 a 

order on the American 
side, and without skill on the British ; it is not the carnage, 




BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 53 

for many fields have been more bloody in our own times. It is 
perhaps because the men of New England here cast their first 
defiance in the teeth of the trained bands of Old England ; it 
is because it was an act of aggression, and showed that our sires 
were determined to fight and ready to die in their good cause. 
The battle was as astounding to British arrogance as it was 
destructive to British prestige ; it cannot be doubted that the 
memory of that day followed Sir William Howe with blighting 
effect to the end of his military career. 

The story of the battle is so familiar that every schoolboy 
will tell you where the Provincials intrenched, and where the 
enemy landed ; how many times the foe was borne back with 
slaughter, and how many fell. Here, across the river, is Copp's 
Hill, where Clinton and Burgoyne watched the varying for- 
tunes of the battle, and from which a battery played upon these 
heights. ' The dead sleep as quietly there now as they did on 
the day when the foundations of the hill were shaken by the 
discharges of the guns. There, you see the tower and steeple of 
Christ Church, from which Gage, it is said, witnessed the fray, 
and whose bells first rang a Merry Christmas peal in 1745, the 
year of Louisburg. Below us the river ebbs and flows as it 
did in centuries gone by. Behind us is Bunker Hill proper, 
its name so tenaciously allied with the battle as to compel 
the adoption of an historical error. The Neck, over which the 
Americans advanced and retreated, has disappeared within the 
body; the Mill Pond causeway is still, in a measure, intact, 
but the pond itself is fast becoming dry land, and the marshes 
are hiding beneath a desert of gravel. 

The British force engaged at Bunker Hill was made up from 
parts of fourteen regiments, then in Boston, besides the Eoyal 
Artillery and two battalions of Marines. Some of these corps 
were the very elite of the army. These were the 4th, or Hodg- 
son's ; 5th, Percy's; 10th, Sandford's ; 18th, or Eoyal Irish; 
22d, Gage's; 23d, Howe's (Welsh Fusileers) ; 35th, F. H. 
Campbell's ; 38th, Pigot's ; 43d, Cary's ; 47th, Carleton's ; 52d, 
Clavering's ; 63d, Grant's ; 65th, Urmston's. The marching 
regiments for the American service consisted of twelve com- 



54 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



panics, and each company mustered fifty-six effective rank and 
tile. Two companies of each regiment were usually loft at 
home on recruiting service. 

' ' And now they 're forming at the Point, and now the lines advance ; 
We see beneath the sultry sun their polished bayonets glance ; 
We hear anear the throbbing drum, the bugle challenge ring ; 
Quick bursts and loud the flashing cloud, and rolls from wing to wing ; 
But on the height our bulwark stands tremendous in its gloom, — 
As sullen as a tropic sky, and silent as a tomb." 

As these troops disembarked and paraded at the Point be- 
low, the spectacle must have extorted the admiration even of 
the rude bands who, with compressed lips and bated breath, 
awaited their coming. Let us review the king's regulars as 
they stand in battle array. 

The scarlet uniforms, burnished arms, and perfect discipline 

are common to all the 
battalions. The 4th, or 
" King's Own," stands on 
the right in the place of 
honor. They have the 
king's cipher on a red 
ground, within the garter, 
with the crown above, in 
the centre of their colors. 
In the corners of the sec- 
ond color, which every 
regiment carried, is the 
Lion of England, their 
ancient badge. The gren- 
adiers have the king's 
crest and cipher on the front of their caps. Percy's Northum- 
berland Fusileers have St. George and the Dragon on their 
colors, and on the grenadiers' caps and arms. The Eoyal Irish 
display a harp in a blue field in the centre of their colors, with 
a crown above it ; and in the three corners of the second color 
is blazoned the Lion of Nassau, the arms of King William III. 
The caps of the grenadiers show the king's crest and the harp 




BRITISH FLAG CAPTURED AT YORKTOWN. 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 00 

and crown. An officer of this regiment was the first Briton 
to mount the redoubt. 

The Eoyal Welsh have the Prince of Wales arms, — three 
feathers issuing out of a coronet. In the corners of the second 
color are the badges of Edward the Black Prince, a rising sun, 
red dragon, and plumed cap, with the motto Ich dien. The 
marines are clothed and armed in the same manner as his 
Majesty's other corps of infantry, their uniform scarlet, turned 
up with white, white waistcoats and breeches. They also wear 
caps like those of the fusileer regiments, which caused them to 
be called by the French Les Petits Grenadiers. 

Our readers are probably aware that the Fusileers were so 
called, upon their first organization, from the circumstance that 
they carried their fusees with slings. There are three regiments 
bearing this designation in the British Army ; namely, 23d or 
Eoyal Welsh, raised in 1688 ; 21st or North British, raised in 
1679 ; and 7th or Eoyal English, raised in 1685. The grena- 
diers were a company armed with a pouch of hand grenades, and 
originated in France in 1667, but were not adopted in England 
until twenty years later. 

" Come, let us fill a bumper, and drink a health to those 
Who wear the caps and pouches and eke the looped clothes." 

In 1774, when the Eoyal Welsh left New York, Eivington 
the bookseller, to whose shop the officers resorted, wrote to a 
brother bookseller in Boston as follows : — 

" My friends, the gallant Eoyals of Wales, are as respectable a 
corps of gentlemen as are to be found in the uniform of any crowned 
head upon earth. You may depend upon their honor and integrity. 
They have not left the least unfavorable impression behind them, 
and their departure is more regretted than that of any officers who 
ever garrisoned our city. Pray present my respects to Colonel Bar- 
nard, Major Blunt," etc., etc. 

This celebrated corps, which had bled freely on the Old 
World battle fields, embarked, on the 27th of July, on board 
the transports for Boston. The officers bore the reputation of 
" gentlemen of the most approved integrity and of the nicest 
punctuality." Eivington, with the cunning for which he was 



56 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

distinguished, made use of the gallant and unsuspecting Cap- 
tain Horsfall to smuggle four chests of tea into Boston as a part 
of the officers' private luggage. The package was consigned, 
under strict injunctions of secrecy, to Henry Knox ; but Eiving- 
ton, more than suspecting that his consignee would have nothing 
to do with the obnoxious herb, directed him to turn it over 
to some one else, in case he should decline the commission. 
Patriotism and tea were then incompatible, and Knox declined 
the bait to tempt his cupidity. 

The Welsh Fusileers had an ancient and privileged custom 
of passing in review preceded by a goat with gilded horns, and 
adorned with garlands of flowers. Every 1st of March, the 
anniversary of their tutelar saint, David, the officers gave a 
splendid entertainment to all their Welsh brethren ; and, after 
the removal of the cloth, a bumper was filled round to his Eoyal 
Highness, the Prince of Wales, whose health was always the 
first drank on that day. The goat, richly caparisoned for the 
occasion, was then brought in, and, a handsome drummer-boy 
being mounted on his back, the animal was led thrice around the 
table by the drum-major. It happened in 1775, at Boston, that 
the animal gave such a spring from the floor that he dropped 
his rider upon the table ; then, leaping over the heads of some 
officers, he ran to the barracks, with all his trappings, to the no 
small joy of the garrison and populace. 

This regiment, which was opposed to Stark's men at the rail- 
fence, on the left of the redoubt, lost upwards of sixty killed 
and wounded, but was by no means so cut up as has often 
been stated. The greatest havoc was made in the ranks of 
Percy's Northumbrians, who had eight commissioned officers, in- 
cluding two ensigns, and one hundred and forty-four non-com- 
missioned officers and soldiers kors du combat. This carnage 
reminds us of that sustained by the Highlanders in the battle of 
New Orleans. The British color-bearers at Bunker Hill were 
specially marked, the 5th, 38th, and 5 2d having both their 
ensigns shot down. 

Lord George Harris, captain of the grenadier company of the 
5th, says of this terrible day : — 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 57 

" We had made a breach in their fortifications, which I had twice 
mounted, encouraging the men to follow me, and was ascending a 
third time, when a ball grazed the top of my head, and I fell, de- 
prived of sense and motion. My lieutenant, Lord Rawdon, caught 
me in his arms, and, believing me dead, endeavored to remove me 
from the spot, to save my body from being trampled on. The mo- 
tion, while it hurt me, restored my senses, and I articulated, ' For 
God's sake, let me die in peace.' " 

Lord Rawdon ordered four soldiers to carry Captain Harris 
to a place of safety. Of these three were wounded, one 
mortally, while endeavoring to comply with the order. Such 
was the terrible fusilade from the redoubt. Captain Harris's 
life was saved by trepanning, and he recovered to take part 
in the battle of Long Island and the subsequent operations in 
Xew York and the Jerseys. He received another rebel bullet 
through the leg in 1777 ; was in the expedition to St. Lucie in 
1778 as major of the 5th ; served in India with distinction, and 
was made lieutenant-general in 1801. Lexington was his first 
battle ; his lieutenant, Francis Rawdon, and himself are among 
the few British officers who fought at Bunker Hill whose repu- 
tations survived the American war. 

Captain Addison, a relative of the author of the Spectator, 
only arrived in Boston the day previous to the battle, and had 
then accepted an invitation to dine on the next day with Gen- 
eral Burgoyne ; but a far different experience aw r aited him, for 
he was numbered among the slain. 

The agency of the young Bostonian, John Coffin (afterwards 
a general in the British army), in this battle is said to have been 
purely accidental ; for, going down to Long Wharf to see the 
5th and 38th embark, he became excited with the ardor dis- 
played by his acquaintances among the officers, of whom Cap- 
tain Harris was one, jumped into a boat and went over to the 
hill. This was the relation of Dr. Waterhouse. Captain Harris 
says he had fallen over head and ears in love with a Miss 
Coffin, — who was a relative of John and Sir Isaac, — or, as he 
jocosely phrased it, had found a coffin for his heart. The lady 
had a " remarkably soft hand and red pouting lips." This 

4 * 



celebrated family of Coffins also furnished another able officer, 
Sir Thomas Aston Coffin, to the British cause. 

General Coffin is accredited with saying to his American 
friends after the war, in allusion to Bunker Hill, " You could 
not have succeeded without it ; for something was indispensable, 
in the then state of parties, to fix men somewhere, and to show 
the planters at the South that Northern people were really 
in earnest, and could and would fight. That, that did the busi- 
ness for you." * 

Thomas Graves, afterwards an admiral, commanded an armed 
sloop which assisted in covering the landing of the British 
troops at Bunker Hill, as did Bouillon and Collingwood (Nel- 
son's famous lieutenant), who were in the boats. Thomas was 
the nephew of Admiral Samuel Graves, then commanding the 
fleet in the waters of Boston harbor. 

Lord Rawdon, who is represented in Trumbull's picture in 
the act of waving a flag from the top of the intrenchment, 
developed, while afterwards commanding in the South, a san- 
guinary disposition. In view of the numerous desertions taking 
place in his command, he is reported to have offered, on one 
occasion, ten guineas for the head of any deserter of the Irish 
Volunteers, but only five for the man if brought in alive. 

An American gentleman gives the following account of an 
interview with the' Earl of Moira in 1803, while sojourning on 
the Isle of Wight : — 

" I waited on his Lordship, and was introduced ; my reception 
was all that could be desired. The Earl then informed me, that, 
learning from our host that I was from the United States, he had 
sought my acquaintance in the hope that I would give him some in- 
formation of some of his old acquaintances of our Revolutionary 
War. I was pleased to have it in my power to gratify his Lordship 
far beyond his expectations ; and, after an excellent supper of beef- 
steak and oysters, with a .bottle of old port, we found the night had 
crept into the morning before we parted. The Earl was a gentle- 
man of most noble appearance." 

* Sabine. 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 59 

Colonel, afterwards General Small, who appears in Trumbull's 
picture as arresting the thrust of a bayonet aimed at Warren's 
prostrate form, was greatly respected on both sides, as the fol- 
lowing anecdote will illustrate. " Towards the conclusion of 
the war, Colonel Small expressing a wish to meet with General 
St. Clair of the American army, the friend and companion of 
his early years, a flag of truce was immediately sent by General 
Greene, with an invitation to come within our lines, and remain 
at his option therein, free from every restriction. The invitation 
was accepted in the same spirit in which it was tendered." It 
is perhaps needless to say that the position in which Trumbull 
has placed Colonel Small is more for artistic effect than for 
historic accuracy. 

General Burgoyne, a spectator only of this battle, lived at 
one time in Samuel Quincy's house, in South Street, Boston. 
It was a handsome wooden dwelling of three stories, with a 
yard and garden, and was for many years the abode of Judge 
John Davis. The estate was the third. from the corner of 
Summer Street, according to former lines of division, and on the 
east side of South Street. This was the house of which Mrs. 
Adams remarks, " A lady who lived opposite says she saw raw 
meat cut and hacked upon her mahogany table, and her superb 
damask curtains exposed to the rain." 

General Pigot, who fought a duel with Major Bruce, with- 
out serious result to either combatant, resided in the Hancock 
House, on Beacon Hill, during, the winter of 1775. To his 
credit be it said, he left the old family mansion of the pro- 
scribed patriot in a cleanly state, and the wines and stores 
remained as he found them. Affairs of honor were not un- 
common in Boston while the king's troops were stationed there. 
In September, 1775, a meeting took place between a captain 
and lieutenant of marines, in which the former was killed and 
the latter badly wounded. 

Duelling was one of the pernicious customs which the Brit- 
ish officers left behind them. The Continental officers some- 
times settled their disputes in this wise, and, indeed, carried 
the fashion into private life ; as witness the affair of Burr and 



60 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Hamilton. But that the practice obtained a foothold among 
the gentry in staid Old Boston would seem incredible, if we 
had not the evidence. 

Trumbull's great painting of the " Battle of Bunker Hill," 
except for the portraits it contains, some of which were painted 
from life, must ever be an unsatisfactory work to Americans. 
The artist has depicted the moment of defeat" for the provin- 
cials, with the head of the British column pouring into the 
redoubt. Warren lies lifeless in the foreground. Prescott, the 
hero of the day, is located in the background, and in a garb 
that defies recognition. A figure purporting to be that of Lord 
Eawdon — it might as well be called that of any other officer, 
— presents its back to the spectator. But for the undoubted 
likenesses of Putnam, Clinton, Small, and others, the picture 
would be chiefly valued as commemorating a British victory. 

Would that the artist, whose skill as a historical painter we 
do not mean to depreciate, had seized the instant when Warren, 
entering the redoubt, his face aglow with the enthusiasm of 
the occasion, is met by Prescott with the offer of the com- 
. mand ; or that other moment, when that brave old soldier 
calmly paces the rampart, encouraging his weary and drooping 
men by his own invincible contempt for danger. 

Trumbull's picture was painted- in West's studio, and when 
it was nearly completed the latter gave a dinner to some friends, 
Sir Joshua Eeynolds among others being invited. When Sir 
Joshua entered the room, he immediately ran up to the " Bun- 
ker Hill/' and exclaimed, " Why, West, what have you got 
here? this is better colored than your works are generally." 
" Sir Joshua, you mistake, that is not mine, it is the work of 
this young gentleman, Mr. Trumbull." Trumbull relates that 
he was not sorry to turn the tables upon Sir Joshua, who, only 
a short time before, had snubbed him unmercifully. 

The question of command on the American side, at Bunker 
Hill, has been in former times one of bitter controversy. It 
has even mingled to some extent with party politics. The 
friends of Warren, Putnam, Prescott, Pomeroy, and Stark, 
each contended manfully to lodge the glory with their par- 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. Gl 

ticular hero. It is, we believe, pretty well settled that nobody 
commanded in chief, and that the battle, taken as a whole, 
fought itself, — or, in other words, was maintained by the in- 
dividual leaders acting without a responsible head, or any par- 
ticular concert. This want of unity is to be ascribed to the 
chaotic state of the Provincial army, but in no small degree, 
also, to the jealousy between the officers and soldiers of the 
different Colonies. The reflection comes naturally, that if there 
was no general officer present authorized to command, there 
ought to have been one, and that if Putnam did not hold that 
authority, the conduct of General Ward cannot be understood. 
Prescott could not command the whole field when shut up 
within the redoubt. Warren and Pomeroy fought as volun- 
teers. Putnam endeavors to the last to carry out the original 
plan, which was to fortify Bunker's Hill. Had he succeeded 
in forming a second line there, there is hardly a doubt that the 
enemy would have deferred an attack or lost the battle. 

Prescott receives the order and the command of the party to 
intrench on the hill. When the intention of the enemy is 
developed, Stark is ordered on and takes his position at the 
rail-fence, on the left of the redoubt. Putnam is in all parts 
of the field, and assumes and exercises command at all points, 
as if by virtue of his rank. Prescott commands within the 
redoubt he erected ; Stark at the rampart of new-mown hay ; 
while Putnam, taking his post on Bunker Hill, where he 
could observe everything, directs the reinforcements that ar- 
rive where to place themselves. As for Warren and Pomeroy, 
the two other general officers present during the battle, they 
choose their stations within Prescott's redoubt, and fight like 
heroes in the ranks. Neither were willing to deprive the vet- 
eran of the honor of defending his fort. 

At this distance of time Putnam's judgment appears to 
have been sound and well directed. The evidence goes to 
show that the lines were well manned. The redoubt could not 
fight more than five hundred men to advantage, supposing all 
the sides attacked at once, — that is, admitting the dimensions 
of the work have been correctly given. Putnam holds a re- 



G2 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

serve, and attempts to intrench himself on Bunker Hill. He 
sends to Cambridge for reinforcements, rallies the fugitives, 
and at last plants himself on Prospect Hill like a lion at bay. 
He has been censured for not bringing the troops on Bunker 
Hill into action at the critical moment. But would they have 
followed him'? He was in the contest, at the rail-fence, and 
was himself there, that is to say, all fire and intrepidity. The 
poet thus depicts him at the retreat : — 

"There strides bold Putnam, and from all the plains 
Calls the third host, the tardy rear sustains, 
And, 'mid the whizzing deaths that fill the air, 
Waves back his sword, and dares the following war." 

The statement that Putnam did not give Prescott an order 
is irreconcilable with the fact that he rode to the redoubt and 
directed the intrenching-tools there to be taken to Bunker 
Hill. Prescott remonstrated, but did not refuse the detach- 
ment. 

Gordon and Eliot, both contemporary historians, give Pres- 
cott the command within the redoubt ; the former attributes to 
Putnam the credit of aiding and encouraging on the field at 
large. General Lee, who had every means of knowing the 
truth, observes in his defence : — 

" To begin with the affair of Bunker Hill, I may venture to pro- 
nounce that there never was a more dangerous, a more execrable 
situation, than those brave and unfortunate men (if those who die in 
the glorious cause of liberty can be termed unfortunate) were placed 
in. They had to encounter with a body of troops, both in point 
of spirit and discipline not to be surpassed in the whole world, 
headed by an officer of experience, intrepidity, coolness, and deci- 
sion. The Americans were composed, in part, of raw lads and old 
men, half armed, with no practice or discipline, commanded without 
order, and God knows by whom." 

The British army gained no little of its reputation from the 
admixture of the races of which it was composed. The emu- 
lation between Scotch, Irish, Welsh, and Saxon has been the 
means of conquering many a field; for, when placed side. by 
side in action, neither nationality would give way before the 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 63 

other. Of these elements the Irish and Scotch are, of course, 
the more distinctive. It is said to be a fact, that in one of the 
Duke of Marlborough's battles, the Irish brigade, on advancing 
to the charge, threw away their knapsacks and everything that 
would encumber them, all of which were carefully picked up 
by a Scotch regiment that followed to support them. The old 
Lord Tyrawley used to say, that, to constitute the beau ifeal of 
an army, a general should take ten thousand fasting Scotch- 
men, ten thousand Englishmen after a hearty dinner, and the 
same number of Irishmen who have just swallowed their second 
bottle. Sir William Howe so well understood these traits, that 
he gave his soldiers their dinner and plentifully supplied them 
with grog before advancing to attack the Americans. 

The first British regiments (14th and 29th) despatched to Bos- 
ton in 1768 had negro drummers, who were used to whip such 
of the soldiers as were ordered for punishment. The bands on 
board derisively played " Yankee Doodle " as the fleet came to 
its anchorage before the town. A little display of force and 
a great deal of contempt were deemed sufficient by the minis- 
try and their instruments to overawe the disaffected colonists. 

Gage went home to England shorn of his military character, 
to explain Lexington and Bunker Hill to the king. A few 
days before he sailed lie offered a reward of ten guineas for 
the thief or thieves who in September stole from the Council 
Chamber, in Boston, the Public Seal of the Province, his 
private seal, and the seal of the Supreme Court of Probate. 
Upon this announcement the wags suggested whether, as his 
Excellency carried his secretary, T. Flucker, with him, " 't is 
not as likely that he might have carried them off as any one 
else." 

On the whole, we feel inclined to call the Battle of Bunker 
Hill, like that of Inkennan, the soldiers' battle. There were 
some who cowardly hung back from coming to the assistance 
of their brethren, but the Americans as a body displayed great 
heroism. The day was one of the sultriest, and the loose 
earth, trampled by many feet, rose in clouds of suffocating dust 
within the redoubt. The men there had marched and worked 



64 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

all night without relief, and could readily see the enemy's ships 
and floating batteries taking positions to prevent reinforcement 
or retreat. The thunder of the cannon to which they could 
not reply served to augment the terror of such as were inex- 
perienced in war, but still they faltered not. 

Most of the provincials fought in their shirt-sleeves. They 
found , their outer garments insupportable, and threw them off 
as they would have done in a hay-field at home. More than a 
year after the action the General Court was still allowing 
claims for guns, coats, and other property lost on the field. 
The men were stripped for fighting, while the British at first 
came up to the attack in heavy marching order, and arrived in 
front of the Americans, breathless and overheated. But then 
those " peasants " in their shirt-sleeves, our ancestors, 

" Fought like brave men, long and well." 

The British soldiers, too, deserve the same meed of praise. 
They never displayed greater valor, or a more stubborn deter- 
mination to conquer or die. Without vanity we might apply 
to them the remark of Frederick the Great to Prince Ferdi- 
nand : " You are going to fight the French cousin ; it will be 
easy for you, perhaps, to beat the generals, but never the 
soldiers." General Howe said of the action on the historic 
hill, " You may talk of your Minclens and your Fontenoys, 
but for my part, I never saw such carnage in so short a 
time." 

An instance of sang-froid which recalls the celebrated reply 
of Junot occurred in the redoubt. Enoch Jewett of Dunsta- 
ble, a young soldier of Captain Ebenezer Bancroft's company, 
Bridges's. regiment, was standing at one of the angles of the 
embankment beside his captain. Being quite short, he rested 
his gun against the breastwork, and arranged some cobble- 
stones so that he might be able to get a sight as well as 
the rest. While thus occupied, a cannon-ball from one of the 
enemy's frigates passed close above his head, brushing the 
dust of the rampart into his musket so that it was quite full. 
At this narrow escape Captain Bancroft turned, and said, 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 65 

" See there, Enoch, they have filled your gun full of dust ! " 
To this . Jewett replied, "I don't care, I'll give them dust 
and all ! " and, suiting the action to the word, discharged his 
piece into the British ranks. 

The ever-famous redouht was only eight rods square, with a 
salient in the southern face, which looked towards Charles- 
town. The entrance was by the north side, in which an open- 
ing had been left. Inside the work the men had raised a plat- 
form of earth on which to stand while they rested their guns 
upon the embankment. The monument stands in the middle 
of the space formerly enclosed by the redoubt, the whole area 
of which should have been included within an iron fence, 
composed of suitable emblems. 

The eastern face of the redoubt was prolonged by a wall of 
earth breast-high, for a hundred yards towards the Mystic. 
Chastellux, who visited the spot a few years after the battle, 
said this breastwork had no ditch, but was only a slight in- 
trenchment. It was doubtless intended, had there been time, 
to have continued the defences across the intervening space to 
the river. 

Near the base of Bunker Hill, two hundred yards in rear 
of the redoubt, and ranging nearly parallel with its eastern face, 
was a stone-wall behind which "Knowlton, with the Connecticut 
troops and two pieces of artillery, posted himself. In front 
of his stone-wall was another fence, the two enclosing a lane. 
Knowlton's men filled the space between with the loose hay 
recently cut and lying in cocks on the field. This fence 
extended to the river-bank, which was nine or ten feet above 
the beach below. Stark's men heaped up the loose stones of 
the beach until they had made a formidable rampart to the 
water's edge. 

This made a good defence everywhere except in the space 
between the point where the breastwork ended and Knowl- 
ton's and Stark's fence. Wilkinson says this space was occupied 
by a post and rail fence beginning at the northeast angle of the 
redoubt, and running back two hundred yards in an oblique line 
until it intersected the fence previously described. Frothing- 



66 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

ham says this line was slightly protected, a part of it, about 
one hundred yards in extent, being open to the enemy. Howe's 
engineer-officer calls it a hedge. On another British map (De 
Berniere's) it appears undefended by any kind of works. By 
all accounts it was the weak point of the defences, and the 
lire of the British artillery was concentrated upon it. 

After they obtained possession of the hill, the British de- 
stroyed the temporary works of the Americans only so far as 
they obstructed the free movements of their men and material. 
Dr. John Warren, who visited the spot a few days after the 
evacuation, probably refers to the removal of the fences when 
he says the works that had been cast up by our forces were 
completely levelled. Wilkinson at the same time plainly saw 
vestiges of the post and rail fences, examined the redoubt,- and 
rested on the rampart. Governor Brooks examined'the ground 
in 1818, and entered the redoubt. A visitor in 1824 says 
the redoubt was nearly effaced ; scarcely a trace of it remain- 
ing, while the intrenchment running towards the marsh was 
still distinct. A portion of this breastwork remained visible 
as late as 1841. Stones suitably inscribed have been placed to. 
mark the position of the breastwork, of which a little grassy 
mound, now remaining, is supposed to have formed a part. 

The most singular phase which the battle of Bunker Hill 
presents is that in which we see the provincial officers fighting 
under the authority of commissions issued to them in the name 
of the reigning monarch of Great Britain. Yet such was the 
fact. Probably the greater number of those officers exercised 
command in the name of that king whose soldiers they were 
endeavoring to destroy. The situation seems wholly anoma- 
lous, and we doubt if there were ever before rebels who car- 
ried on rebellion with such means. The officers who were made 
prisoners — and some of them were captured in this battle — 
could only prove their rank by the exhibition of the royal 
warrant, the same under which their captors acted. 

This state of things would, perhaps, only go to show that 
the colonists had not yet squarely come up to the point of 
throwing off their allegiance, were it not that the measure of 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 67 

continuing, or even issuing commissions to military and civil 
officers in the king's name, was prolonged by the legislative 
and executive authority of Massachusetts, long after the Dec- 
laration of Independence by the Thirteen United Colonies. 

The absurdity of their position seems to have been perfectly 
comprehended, as the General Court, May 1, 1776, passed an 
Act, to take effect on the first day of June in that year, by 
which the style of commissions, civil and military, was there- 
after to be in the name of the government and people of 
Massachusetts Bay, in New England. These commissions were 
to be dated in the year of the Christian era, and not in that 
of the reigning sovereign of Great Britain. This renunciation 
of allegiance to the crown — for such in fact it was — was a bold 
act, and placed Massachusetts in the van of the movement to- 
wards independent sovereignty. It has, in reality, been called 
a Declaration of Independence by Massachusetts, two months 
earlier than that by the Congress at Philadelphia ; but as Mas- 
sachusetts, as a matter of expediency, virtually annulled her 
own action by subsequent legislation, she cannot maintain 
her claim in this regard. By the Act referred to, the 19th Sep- 
tember, 1776, was fixed as the date when such commissions 
as had not been made to conform with the new law should 
be vacated. 

But, in consequence of the failure of many of the officers of 
the militia who were in actual service to have their commis- 
sions altered to the new style, and especially in view of the 
desperate circumstances in which our army found itself after 
the battle of Long Island, a resolve passed the Massachusetts 
House on the 16th September, 1776, as follows : — 

"It is therefore Resolved, That all Military Commissions now 
in force, shall be and continue in full force and effect on the same 
nineteenth day of September, and from thence to the 19th day of Jan- 
uary next after, such commissions not being made to conform as 
aforesaid notwithstanding." 

So that the men of Massachusetts continued to fight against 
George III., with his commissions in their pockets, for more 



1)8 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

than six months after the Declaration of Independence by the 
Thirteen United Colonies. One of these commissions, dated 
in the reign of King George, and as late as the 10th of De- 
cember, 1776, is in the writer's possession. 

Commissions were issned by the Provincial Congress of 
Massachusetts before Bunker Hill, and these did not bear the 
king's name, but expressed the holders' appointment in the 
army raised for the defence of the colony. Some of the offi- 
cers engaged at Bunker Hill only received their commissions 
the day before the battle. The two Brewers were of these. 
Samuel Gerrish's regiment, which remained inactive on Bun- 
ker Hill during the engagement, Mr. Frothingham supposes 
was not commissioned ; but Gerrish had received his appoint- 
ment as colonel, and James Wesson was commissioned major 
on the 19th of May, 1775. 

After the battle of the 17th of June the Provincial Congress 
recommended a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer to be 
observed, in which the Divine blessing is invoked "on our 
rightful sovereign, King George III." * The army chaplains 
continued to pray for the king until long after the arrival of 
General Washington, as we learn from Dr. Jeremy Belknap's 
account of his visit to the camps before Boston, in October, 

1775, when he observed that thoplan of independence was be- 
coming a favorite point in the army, and that it was offensive 
to pray for the king. Under the date of October 22d the good 
Doctor enters in his journal : — 

" Preached all day in the meeting-house. After meeting I was 
again told by the chaplain that it was disagreeable to the generals 
to pray for the king. I answered that the same authority which 
appointed the generals had ordered the king to be prayed for 
at the late Continental Fast ; and, till that was revoked, I should 
think it my duty to do it. Dr. Appleton prayed in the afternoon, 
and mentioned the king with much affection. It is too assuming in 
the generals to find fault with it." 

John Adams, in a letter to William Tudor, of April 24, 

1776, says : — 

* Boston Gazette, July 3, 1775. 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 69 

" How is it possible for people to hear the crier of a court pro- 
nounce " God save the King ! " and for jurors to swear well and 
truly to try an issue between our Sovereign Lord the King and a 
prisoner, or to keep his Majesty's secrets, in these days, I can't con- 
ceive. Don't the clergy pray that he may overcome and vanquish 
all his enemies yet 1 What do they mean by his enemies ? Your 



army 



" Have people no consciences, or do they look upon all oaths to be 
custom-house oaths 1 " * 

We have presented the foregoing examples in order to show 
by what slow degrees the idea of separation germinated in the 
minds of the colonists. Hostilities were begun to regain their 
constitutional liberties, just as the war of the Great Eebellion 
of 1861 was first waged solely in the view of establishing the 
authority of the Constitution and the laws. If " all history is 
a romance, unless it is studied as an example," we do not seem 
to have developed in a hundred years a greater grasp of national 
questions than those hard-thinking and hard-hitting colonists 
possessed. 

The constitution of the Provincial army was modelled after 
that of the British. The general officers had regiments, as in 
the king's service. The regiments and companies were in 
number and strength similar to those of the regular troops. 
Thus we frequently meet with mention of the Honorable Gen- 
eral Ward's, Thomas's, or Heath's regiments. This custom 
lapsed upon the creation of a new army. In the British service 
the generals were addressed or spoken of as Mr. Howe or Mr. 
Clinton, except the general-in-chief, who was styled " His Ex- 
cellency." Our own army adopted this custom in so far as the 
commanding general was concerned; but the subordinate gen- 
erals, many of whom had come from private life, were little in- 
clined to waive their military designation and continue plain 
Mister. It is still a rule of the English and American service 
to address a subaltern as Mr. 

To return to the battle, — which was first called "by our 
troops the " Battle of Charlestown," — it is worthy of remem- 

* Mass. Hist. Collections, II. viii. 



70 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

brance that the orders to take possession of the hill were issued 
on the same day that Washington was officially notihed of his 
appointment to command the army. He had scarcely proceeded 
twenty miles on the way to Cambridge, when he met the 
courier spurring in hot haste with the despatches to Congress 
of the battle. The rider was stopped, and the General opened 
and read the despatch, while Lee, Schuyler, and the other gen- 
tlemen who attended him eagerly questioned the messenger. It 
was on this occasion that Washington, upon hearing that the 
militia had withstood the fire of the regulars, exclaimed, " Then 
the liberties of the country are safe ! " 

A variety of conflicting accounts have been given of the 
battle by eyewitnesses ; the narrators, as is usual, seeing only 
what passed in their own immediate vicinity. On the day of 
the evacuation of Boston by the British Major Wilkinson ac- 
companied Colonels Reed and Stark over the battle-ground, and 
the latter pointed out to him the various positions and described 
the parts played by the different actors. The vestiges of the 
post and rail fence on the left, and of the stone-wall Stark 
ordered " his boys " to throw up on the beach of the Mystic, 
were still plainly visible. It was before this deadly stone-wall 
where the British light-infantry attacked that John Winslow 
counted ninety-six dead bodies the next day after the battle. 
Stark told Wilkinson that " the dead lay as thick as sheep in 
a fold," and that he had forbidden his men to fire until the 
enemy reached a point he had marked in the bank, eight or 
ten rods distant from his line. With such marksmen as Stark's 
men were, every man covering his adversary, it is no wonder 
the head of the British column was shot in pieces, or that it 
drifted in mutilated fragments away from the horrible feu 
cPenfer. 

Before the action, when some one asked him if the rebels 
would stand fire, General Gage replied, "Yes, if one John 
Stark is there ; for he is a brave fellow." Through his glass 
the General saw Prescott standing on the crest of the embank- 
ment. " Who is he 1 " inquired the General of Councillor 
Willard, Prescott's brother-in-law. He was told. "Will he 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 71 

fight?" demanded Gage. " To the last drop of blood in his 
veins ! " replied Willard. Prescott wore, on this day, a single- 
breasted blue coat with facings turned up at the skirt, a top- 
wig and three-cornered hat. 

The American field-hospital during the battle was fixed at 
the old Sun Tavern, on the north side of Bunker Hill. Dr. 
Eustis, Andrew Craigie, and others officiated there. Some of 
the wounded early in the engagement were, however, removed 
to the mainland. The same tavern was one of the places 
named by the Committee of Safety for granting permits to go 
into Boston in April, 1775. 

The American prisoners were treated with extreme inhuman- 
ity. They were conveyed over to Long Wharf in Boston, and 
allowed to lie there all night without any care for their wounds, 
or other resting-place than the ground. The next day they 
were removed to Boston Jail, where several died before their 
final transfer to Halifax. General Washington earnestly en- 
deavored to mitigate the sufferings of these unfortunate men ; 
but the status of rebel prisoners had not yet been established, 
or a cartel of exchange arranged. 

Both parties were exhausted by the battle. The Americans 
feared an immediate advance on Cambridge ; the British, ap- 
prehending an assault from the fresh troops of the Americans, 
intrenched on the northern face of Bunker Hill, while the 52d 
regiment bivouacked, on the night of the 17th, in the main 
street of the town, so as to cover the mill-pond causeway and 
the approach over the Nick. Dr. Church, in his defence, says, 
"Your Honor well knows what was our situation after the 
action of Bunker 1 1 ill ; insomuch that it was generally believed, 
had the British troops been in a condition to pursue their 
success, they might have reached Cambridge with very little 
opposition." 

The minority in Parliament were very severe in their remarks 
on the conduct of their troops at Lexington and Bunker Hill. 
Howe's forcing the lines thrown up by a handful of raw, 
undisciplined militia in the course of a summer's night was 
ludicrously compared to a Marlborough's victory at Blenheim. 



72 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The death of Warren was the greatest loss the American 
cause sustained on that day. The spot where he fell, while 
lingering in a retreat his soul rebelled against, is marked by a 
stone in the northerly part of the monument grounds. The 
last words he was heard to utter were : " I am a dead man. Eight 
on, my brave fellows, for the salvation of your country." His 
remains were buried on the field, with such disregard of the 
claims of rank, as a man and a citizen, that only the supposi- 
tion that Gage feared to place them in the hands of his (War- 
ren's) friends for political reasons can account for the indignity 
with which the body was treated. As for the Americans with 
whom he fought, it is not known that they made the least 
effort to obtain the remains. He died and received the burial 
of an American rebel, a name of which his descendants are not 
ashamed. 

" No useless coffin enclosed his "breast, 

Not in sheet or in shroud we bound him, 
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest, 
With his martial cloak around him." 

When he entered the redoubt to which Putnam had directed 
him as the post of honor, Prescott addressed him, saying, " Dr. 
Warren, do you come here to take the command?" "No, 
Colonel," replied the Doctor; "but to give what assistance I 
can, and to let these damned rascals see " — pointing to the 
British troops — "that the Yankees will fight." This was 
the relation of Dr. Eustis, who was within the redoubt, to 
General Wilkinson. Eustis, afterwards governor of Massachu- 
setts, was a student with Warren, and had been commissioned 
surgeon of Gridley's regiment of artillery. After the battle 
he attended the wounded, and was placed in charge of the 
military hospital established at Eev. Samuel Cook's house at 
Menotomy, now Arlington. 

The slaughter of British officers at Bunker Hill was terrible 
indeed. The bloodiest battles in which British soldiers had 
been engaged suffered by the comparison. Quebec and Min- 
den were no longer recollected with horror. Spendlove, Major 
of the 43d 3 who died of his wounds here, had been gazetted 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 73 

four times for wounds received in America ; namely, with 
Wolfe, on the Plains of Abraham, at the reduction of Mar- 
tinico, the taking of Havana, and at Bunker Hill. There is no 
doubt Pitcairn was singled out for his share in the Lexington 
battle; his person was well known in the American ranks. 
Dearborn says he was on horseback, and the only mounted 
officer of the enemy on the field. Abercrombie, borne away 
with a mortal hurt, begged his men not to kill his old friend 
Putnam. Each of these officers commanded battalions. 

The effect on the new levies in England was marked. An 
officer who resigned, upon being asked the reason, replied, that 
he wanted to see a little more of the world. " Why don't 
you go to America with the troops 1 " said the querist. " You 
will then have an opportunity of seeing the world soon." 
" Yes," replied the officer, " the other world I believe I should 
very soon ; but as I am not tired of this, I do not choose to set 
out on my journey yet." 

These celebrated heights were eventually cultivated, and pro- 
duced astonishing crops of hemp, etc., so that in this respect 
they followed in the train of the memorable Plains of Abra- 
ham, which Lord Dalhousie", when he was governor-general of 
Canada, ordered to be ploughed up and seeded in grain. This 
was laid hold of by the wits, who perpetrated the following 
epigram : — 



Some care for honor, others care for groats, - 
Here Wolfe reaped glory and Dalhousie oats. 



The Freemasons have the honor of taking the initiative in a 
structure to commemorate the heroic death of their Grand- 
Master, Joseph Warren. In 1794 King Solomon's Lodge of 
Charlestown erected a Tuscan column of wood, elevated on a 
brick pedestal eight feet square, and surmounted by a gilded 
urn, bearing the age and initials of the illustrious dead, 
encircled with Masonic emblems. The whole height of the 
pillar was twenty-eight feet. 

The face of the south side of the base bore the following 
inscription : — 

i 



74 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Erected, A. D. MDCCXCIV. 

By King Solomon's Lodge of Freemasons. 

Constituted in Charlestown, 1783, 

In Memory of 

Major-General Joseph Warren, 

And his Associates, 

Who were slain on this memorable spot, June 17, 1775. 

None but they who set a just value on, the blessings of Liberty are worthy 
to enjoy her. 

In vain we toiled ; in vain we fought ; we bled in vain ; if you, our off- 
spring, want valor to repel the assaults of her invaders. 

Charlestown settled, 1628. 
Burnt, 1775. Rebuilt, 1776. 

The enclosed land given by the Hon . James Russell. 

This structure stood for about thirty years, but was in a 
state of ruinous dilapidation before the movement to raise on 
the spot its giant successor caused its disappearance. A beauti- 
ful model in marble of the first monument may still be seen 
within the present obelisk. 

William Tudor of Boston, the accomplished scholar, was the 
first to draw public attention to the building of a memorial on 
Bunker Hill commensurate with the event it was intended to 
celebrate. He pursued the subject until the sympathies and 
co-operation of many distinguished citizens were secured. Dan- 
iel Webster was early enlisted in the cause, and he stated that 
it was in Thomas H. Perkins's house, in Boston, that William 
Tudor, William Sullivan, and George Blake adopted the first 
step towards raising a monument on Bunker Hill. Dr. John C. 
Warren, grandson of the General, purchased three acres of land 
lying on the hill, in November, 1822, thus preserving for the 
monument site an area that was about to be sold. A meeting 
of those friendly to the enterprise was held in the Merchants' 
Exchange, in Boston, in May, 1823, which resolved itself, 
under an act of incorporation passed June 7, 1823, into the 
Bunker Hill Monument Association. Governor John Brooks 
was the first president. 

In 1824 Lafayette, then on his triumphal tour through 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 75 

the United States, paid a visit to the scene of the battle, and 
accepted an invitation to assist at the laying of the corner- 
stone on the ensuing anniversary. Meantime the directors 
were considering the plan for the monument. A committee 
for this object was formed of Messrs. Daniel Webster, Loanimi 
Baldwin, George Ticknor, Gilbert Stuart, and Washington 
Allston, and some fifty plans appeared to compete for the 
offered premium. This committee, able as it was, did not 
make a decision ; but a new one, of which General H. A. S. 
Dearborn, Edward Everett, Seth Knowles, S. D. Harris, and 
Colonel T. H. Perkins were members, eventually made choice 
of the obelisk as the simplest, and at the same time the grand- 
est, form in which their ideal could be expressed. 

It is stated that Horatio Greenough, then an undergraduate 
at Harvard, sent to the committee a design, with an essay, in 
which he advocated the obelisk with much power and feeling. 
The design finally adopted was Greenough's, modified by the 
taste and judgment of Colonel Baldwin. Solomon Willard, 
the architect, made the working plan. 

The occasion of laying the corner-stone was made as im- 
posing as possible. The day was everything that could be 
desired. The military and civic bodies appeared to great advan- 
tage, while the presence of Lafayette gave an added eclat to 
the pageant. The streets of Boston were thronged with an 
immense multitude, and again Charlestown was invaded by an 
army with banners, but with more hospitable intent than the 
display of fifty years before had witnessed. Some forty sur- 
vivors of the battle appeared in the ranks of the procession. 
Their course was followed by the loudest acclamations, and the 
waving of many handkerchiefs wet with the tears of the gentler 
sex ; while many a manly eye could not refuse its tribute to a 
spectacle so touching as were these visible relics of the battle. 
One aged veteran stood up in the midst of the multitude, and 
exhibited the simple equipments he wore when a soldier of 
Prescott's Spartan band. Not Webster, not even the noble 
Frenchman, so moved the hearts of the people, as did these 
old men, with their white hairs, their bowed forms, and their 
venerable aspect. 



76 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The ceremony of laying the corner-stone proceeded under 
the direction of King Solomon's Lodge ; Mr. Webster, then 
president of the Monument Association, and the Marquis as- 
sisting. The plate, containing a long inscription, was depos- 
ited in its place, and the exercises were continued in a spacious 
amphitheatre erected on the northerly slope of the hill. Here 
Mr. Webster delivered his oration, and the day finished with a 
banquet on Bunker Hill. The corner-stone proved not to be 
deep enough to resist the action of frost, and it was therefore 
subsequently relaid. The box containing the inscription was 
eventually placed under the northeast angle of the monument. 

The erection of the monument proceeded under continued 
difficulties, the work frequently halting for want of funds, 
until its completion on the morning of July 23, 1842, when 
the last stone was raised to its place. To the patriotic efforts 
of the ladies is due the final realization of the original design. 
The association had been compelled not only to sell off a por- 
tion of its land, but also to diminish the height of the obelisk ; 
but the proceeds of the fair conducted by the ladies in the 
hall of Quincy Market (Boston) realized $ 30,000, and the vote 
which had been adopted to consider the monument completed 
at one hundred and fifty-nine feet of altitude was rescinded. 

The same great orator who had presided at the incipient 
stage of the structure addressed another vast audience on the 
day of dedication in 1843. But of the twoscore living rep- 
resentatives of the army of constitutional liberty there re- 
mained but eleven individuals to grace the occasion by their 
presence. They were, J. Johnson, 1ST. Andrews, E. Dresser, 
J. Cleveland, J. Smith, P. Bagley, P. Plaisted, E. Reynolds, 
J. Stephens, N. Porter, J. Harvey, and I. Hobbs. 

Mr. Webster was himself on that day, and his apostrophe to 
the gigantic shaft was as grand and noble as the subject was 
lofty and sublime. Hawthorne, who certainly did not want 
for creative power, has declared that he never found his imagi- 
nation much excited in the presence of scenes of historic 
celebrity ; but this was not the experience of the hundred 
thousand spectators who stood beneath the majestic shaft, awed 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 77 

by the presence of those men who brought the extremes of our 
national existence together, and moved by the recollections 
which the theatre itself inspired. 

Mr. Webster applied this test to his auditory when, waving 
his hand towards the towering structure, he said, "The power- 
ful speaker stands motionless before us." He was himself 
deeply moved. The sight of such an immense sea of upturned 
faces — he had never before addressed such a multitude — he 
afterwards spoke of as awful and oppressive. The applause 
from a hundred thousand throats surged in great waves around 
the orator, completing in his mind the parallel of Old Ocean. 

Within the little building appropriated to the keeper is a 
marble statue of General Warren, in citizen's dress, by Dexter. 
The figure stands on a beautiful pedestal of verd-antique marble, 
the gift of the late Dr. J. C. Warren. The artist's conception was 
excellent in theory, but the peculiar pose of the head effectually 
prevents the features being seen by the spectator, except in 
profile, as the work is now placed. The statue, to be viewed 
to advantage, should be situated in the middle of a suitable 
apartment, or where it might have space enough to permit an 
understanding of the subject at a single coup oVoeil. Copley's 
portrait, in Faneuil Hall, was the artist's study for the head. 
Mr. Dexter has been singularly successful in his studies from 
life, as well as ideal subjects. Colonel Thomas H. Perkins was 
the prime mover of the statue, and with John Welles, the two 
noble brothers Amos and Abbott Lawrence, and Samuel Apple- 
ton, contributed half the necessary funds. 

We were not a little amused at a little outcropping of that 
species of flunkeyism in this place which we have hitherto sup- 
posed peculiar to our English cousins. The Prince of Wales 
and suite having visited the spot on the occasion of his sojourn 
in Boston, the autographs of "Albert Edward," "Newcastle," 
" Lyons," etc. were carefully removed from the visitors' book, 
and have been artistically framed, in connection with an account 
of the visit, in which the names of the gentlemen who were in- 
troduced to H. E. H. were not forgotten. We looked around in 
vain for any memento of the visit of a President of the United 



78 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

States such as is accorded to the heir presumptive of the British 
throne. The object of the structure being made known, the 
Prince is said to have remarked, pleasantly, " It is time these 
old matters were forgotten." Nevertheless, we do not believe 
he will pull down the Nelson monument or the Wellington 
statue, when he comes to the throne of his ancestors. 

A celebrated statesman of Europe, whom Cromwell named 
" the wise man of the Continent," once sent his son on a visit 
to foreign courts with only this admonition, " Go, my son, and 
see by what fools the world is governed." We do not say that 
such was Victoria's counsel to her eldest son, but we do affirm 
that it would not be altogether without significance in this 
nineteenth century. When shall we so conduct ourselves to- 
wards foreign dignitaries as to secure their respect and our 
own? 

" For you, young potentate o' W , 

I tell your Highness fairly, 
Down pleasure's stream wi' swelling sails 

I 'm tauld ye 're driving rarely ; 
But some day ye may gnaw your nails, 

An' curse your folly sairly, 

That e'er ye brak Diana's pales, 

Or rattl'd dice wi' Charlie." 

The great Whig convention of September 10, 1840, during 
the Harrison campaign, brought a monstrous gathering to this 
spot. The speech of the occasion was made by Daniel Web- 
ster, but the exercises were brought to an abrupt close by a 
violent shower of rain. It was at this time Mr. Webster made 
his famous remark, "Any rain, gentlemen, but the reign of 
Martin Van Buren." 

Since that time we have had, on Bunker Hill, Mason of Vir- 
ginia, — a man of " unbounded stomach," of whom Mr. Clay 
said, " He was never satisfied unless he had his mouth full of 
tobacco and his belly full of oysters," — and Davis in Faneuil 
Hall; but no Toombs has ever called the roll of his slaves 
here, and now, thanks to the teachings of temple and shaft ! 
not a manacle remains in all the land. 

The obelisk is two hundred and twenty feet high, exceeding 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT, 79 

the London Monument built by Wren to commemorate the 
Great Fire, and sometimes stated to be the highest in the 
world, by eighteen feet. Tte shaft is composed of ninety 
courses of stone, of which six are in the foundation. The 
pinnacle consists of a single mass weighing two and a half 
tons, fitly crowning the greatest specimen of commemorative 
architecture America affords. The interior of the shaft is a 
hollow cone, ascended by a spiral staircase to the summit, 
where the visitor finds himself within a circular chamber, 
breathless, perhaps, with his fatiguing climb, but with an un- 
surpassed prospect of land and sea outspread before him. 

"There architecture's noble pride 

Bids elegance and splendor rise ; 
Here Justice, from her native skies, 

High wields her balance and her rod ; 
There Learning, with his eagle eyes, 

Seeks Science in her coy abode." 

Within this chamber are the two little brass cannon, Han- 
cock and Adams, taken out of Boston by stealth in September, 
1775, and presented by Massachusetts to the Monument Associa- 
tion in 1825. While the London Monument and the Column 
Vendome have been much affected by suicides, we do not remem- 
ber that such an attempt has ever been made from this shaft. 

Of those who will be more prominently identified with Bun- 
ker Hill Monument, Amos Lawrence will be remembered as a 
benefactor, aiding it liberally with purse and earnest personal 
effort at a time when the friends of the project were almost 
overcome by their discouragements. He succeeded in obtain- 
ing the active co-operation of the Charitable Association, and, 
by his will, set apart a sum to complete the monument and 
secure the battle-field, — a provision his executors were not 
called upon to fulfil, as Mr. Lawrence lived to see the com- 
pletion of the memorial shaft in which he was so deeply 
interested. 

Although the architect of many noble public edifices, the 
monument will doubtless be considered as Willard's chef 
d'ceuvre. A nominal compensation was all he would accept 



80 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

for his services. He secured the quarry from which the granite 
was obtained, and appears among the list of contributors set 
down for a generous sum. 

Edward Everett gave heart and voice to the work, as he 
afterwards did to the rescue of Mount Vernon from the hazard 
of becoming a prey to private speculation. 

In taking our leave of an object so familiar to the citizens 
of Massachusetts, and which bears itself proudly up without a 
single sculptured line upon its face to tell of its purpose, we 
yet remember that its stony finger pointing to the heavens has 
a moral which lips by which all hearts were swayed — when 
shall we hear their like again % — disclosed to us thirty years ago. 
" To-day it speaks to us. Its future auditories will be the suc- 
cessive generations of men, as they rise up before it, and gather 
around it. Its speech will be of patriotism and courage, of 
civil and religious liberty, of free government, of the moral 
improvement and elevation of mankind, and of the immortal 
memory of those who, with heroic devotion, have sacrificed their 
lives for their country." 

Bunker Hill, on which the British erected a very strong for- 
tress, was named for George Bunker, an early settler. It is 
now crowned by the steeple of a Catholic church, which, thanks 
to its lofty elevation, can be seen for a considerable distance 
inland. The hill is already much encroached upon, and must 
soon follow some of its predecessors into the waters of the 
river. This eminence, Mount Benedict, and Winter Hill are 
situated in a range from east to west, each of them on or near 
Mystic Eiver. Mount Benedict (Ploughed Hill) is in the mid- 
dle, and is the lowest of the three ; its summit was only half a 
mile from the English citadel where we stand, and which Sir 
Henry Clinton commanded in 1775. 

As late as 1840 the summit and northern face of the hill 
retained the impress of the enemy's extensive works. The 
utmost labor and skill the British generals could command 
were expended to make the position impregnable. It could 
have been turned, and actually was turned, by a force crossing 
the mill-pond causeway to its rear ; but its fire commanded 



BUNKER HILL AND THE MONUMENT. 81 

every point of approach, and its strong ramparts effectually 
protected the garrison. There is evidence that General Sulli- 
van intended making a demonstration in force in this direction 
during the winter of 1775, but some untoward accident pre- 
vented the accomplishment of his design. 

It becomes our duty to refer to the almost obliterated ves- 
tiges of what was once the great artery of traffic between Boston 
and the falls of the Merrimack. It seems incredible that the 
Middlesex Canal, the great enterprise of its day, should have 
so quickly faded out of recollection. We have traced its scanty 
remains through the towns of Medford and Woburn, and have 
found its' grass-grown basin and long-neglected tow-path quite 
distinct at the foot of Winter Hill in the former town, and 
along the railway to Lowell in the latter. In many places 
houses occupy its former channel. The steam caravan rushes 
by with a scream of derision at the ruin of its decayed 
predecessor, and easily accomplishes in an hour the distance 
the canal-boats achieved in twelve. 

In 1793 James Sullivan of Boston, Oliver Prescott of Gro- 
ton, James Winthrop of Cambridge, Loammi Baldwin of 
Woburn, Benjamin Hall, Jonathan Porter, and others of Med- 
ford, were incorporated, and begun the construction of the canal. 
It was at first contemplated to unite the Merrimack at Chelms- 
ford with the Mystic at Medford, but subsequent legislation 
carried the canal to Charles Eiver by a lock at Charlestown 
Neck, admitting the boats into the mill-pond, and another by 
which they gained an entrance to the river. The boats were 
received into the canal across the town of Boston, and unloaded 
at the wharves of the harbor. The surveys for the canal were 
made by Weston, an English engineer, and Colonel Baldwin 
superintended the excavation, etc. In 1803 the sweet waters 
flowed through and mingled with the ocean. Superseded by 
the railway, the canal languished and at length became disused. 
While it existed it furnished the theme of many a pleasant 
fiction of perils encountered od its raging stream • but now it 
has gone to rest with its fellow, the old stage-coach, and we 
are dragged with resistless speed on our journey in the train of 
4* F 



82 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the iron monster. Peace to the relics of the canal, it was slow 
but sure. There was not a reasonable doubt but that you would 
awake in the morning in the same world in which you went 
to sleep ; but now you repose on a luxurious couch, to awake 
perhaps in eternity. 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 



83 



CHAPTEE IV. 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 

From camp to camp thro' the foul womb of night, 
The hum of either army stilly sounds, 
That the fix'd sentinels almost receive 
The secret whispers of each other's watch." 

Shakespeare. 

THE military position between the 
Mystic and Charles will be better 
understood by a reference to the 
roads that in 1775 gave communi- 
cation to the town of Boston. 

Erom Eoxbury the main road 
passed through Brookline and 
Little Cambridge, now Brighton, 
crossing the causeway and bridge 
which leads directly to the Col- 
leges. This was the route by 
which Lord Percy marched to 
Lexington. 

From Charlestown, after passing the Neck by an artificial 
causeway, constructed in 1717, two roads diverged, as they 
now do, at what was then a common, now known as Sullivan 
Square. Near the point where these roads separated was Anna 
Whittemore's tavern, at which the Committee of Safety held 
some of its earliest sessions in 1774, and which had been an inn 
kept by her father as early as the famous year '45, and perhaps 
earlier. Maiden Bridge is located upon the site of the old 
Penny Eerry, over which travel to the eastward once passed. 

The first of these roads, now known as Washington Street, 
in Somerville, skirts the base of Prospect Hill, leaving the 
McLean Asylum on the south, and conducting straight on to 




84 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the Colleges. By this road the Americans marched to and 
retreated from Bunker Hill. Lord Percy entered it at what is 
now Union Square, in Sonierville, and led his worn battalions 
over it to Charlestown. 

The second road proceeded by Mount Benedict to the sum- 
mit of Winter Hill, where it divided, as at present ; one branch 
turning northward by General Royall's to Medford, while the 
other pursued its way by the powder-magazine to what is now 
Arlington, then known as Menotomy. The road over Winter 
Hill, by the magazine, which it has been stated was not laid 
out in 1775, is denominated a country road as early as 1703, 
and appears on the map included in this volume. 

Besides these there were no other roads leading to the 
colonial capital. The shore between was yet a marsh, unim- 
proved, except for the hay it afforded, and reached only at a 
few points by unfrequented cartways. A causeway from the 
side of Prospect Hill, and a bridge across what is now Miller's 
River, gaA^e access to the farm at Lechmere's Point. From the 
road first described a way is seen parting at what is now Union 
Square, crossing the river just named by a bridge, and leading 
by a circuitous route to Inman's house in Cambridgeport, and 
from thence to the Colleges. This road, from the nature of the 
ground, could have been but little used. 

Mount Benedict is the firs.t point where we encounter the 
American line of investment during the siege of Boston, after 
passing Charlestown Neck. In Revolutionary times % it was 
called Ploughed Hill, probably from the circumstance of its 
being cultivated when the Americans took possession, while 
Winter and Prospect Hills were still untilled. The hill was 
within short cannon-range of the British post on Bunker Hill, 
and its occupation by the Americans on the 26th of August, 
1775, was expected to bring on an engagement ; in fact, 
Washington offered the enemy battle here, but the challenge 
was not accepted. 

Ploughed Hill was fortified by General Sullivan under a 
severe cannonade, the working party being covered by a detach- 
ment of riflemen, or riflers, as they were commonly called, 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 85 

posted in an orchard and under the shelter of stone-walls. 
Finding they were not attacked, the Provincials contented 
themselves with stationing a strong picket-guard on the hill, 
usually consisting of about half a regiment. Poor's regiment 
performed a tour of duty there in November, 1775. A guard- 
house was built within the work for the accommodation of the 
picket, which was relieved every day. General Lee was much 
incensed because an officer commanding the guard allowed 
some boards to be pulled off the guard-house for fuel, and 
administered a sharp reprimand. 

The Continental advanced outpost was in an orchard in front 
of Ploughed Hill. In summer the poor fellows were not so 
badly off, but in the inclement winter they needed the great 
watch-coats every night issued to them before they went on 
duty, and which the poverty of the army required them to turn 
over to the relieving guard. Here, as at Boston Neck, the 
pickets were near enough to each other to converse freely, — 
a practice it was found necessary to prohibit in orders. The 
reliefs on both sides could be easily counted as they marched 
down from their respective camps. The rules of civilized war- 
fare which respect sentinels seem, at first, to have been little 
observed at the Continental outposts. We had some Indians 
posted on the lines who could not understand why an enemy 
should not be killed under any and all circumstances. The 
Southern riflemen, also, were very much of this opinion, each 
being, Corsican-like, intent on "making his skin." The British 
officers were soon inspired with such fear of these marksmen 
that they took excellent care to keep out of range of their 
dreaded rifles. 

It is time to relate an incident which occurred at this out- 
post, where the parleys and flags that were necessary on this 
side of the lines were exchanged. Very soon after General 
Lee's arrival in camp he took occasion to despatch a character- 
istic letter to General Burgoyne, in which he argued the ques- 
tion of taxation, lamented while he censured the employment 
of his quondam friends, Gage, Burgoyne, and Howe, in the 
army of subjugation, and ridiculed the idea which prevailed in 



86 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the British army of the cowardice of the Americans. This let- 
fcer was written in Philadelphia before the battle of Bunker 
Hill, and the general was the bearer of his own missive as far 
as Cambridge. 

It was probably not later than the morning after his arrival 
in camp that Lee went down to the British lines on Charles- 
town Xeck, — then pushed about one hundred and fifty yards 
beyond the isthmus, — hailed the sentinel, and desired him to 
tell his officers that General Lee was there, and- to inform 
General Burgoyne that he had a letter for him. The letter 
was to have been sent into Boston by Dr. Church, but was 
taken by Samuel Webb (afterwards a general), aid to General 
Putnam, to the lines near Bunker Hill, where Major Bruce of 
the 38th — the same who fought a duel with General Pigot — 
came out to receive it. 

Webb advanced and said : " Sir, here is a letter from 
General Lee to General Burgoyne. Will you be pleased to 
give it to him 1 As some part of it requires an immediate 
answer, I shall be glad you would do it directly; and, also, here 
is another letter to a sister of mine, Mrs. Simpson, to whom I 
should be glad you would deliver it." The Major gave him 
every assurance that he would deliver the, letter to Mrs. Simp- 
son himself and also to General Burgoyne, but could not do it 
immediately, as the General was on the other lines, meaning 
Boston Neck. " General Lee ! " exclaimed Major Bruce. " Good 
God, sir ! is General Lee there 1 I served two years with him 
in Portugal. Tell him, sir, I am extremely sorry that my profes- 
sion obliges me to be his opposite in this unhappy affair. Can't 
it be made up % Let me beg of you to use your influence, and 
endeavor to heal this unnatural breach." 

Upon hearing that General Lee had a letter for him, Bur- 
goyne had sent out a trumpeter, of his own Light Horse, over 
Boston Keck to receive it, but then learned by a second letter 
from Lee how his first had been forwarded. In his second com- 
munication Lee endeavored to obtain an exact list of the British 
losses at Bunker Hill, which great pains had been taken to 
conceal. Major Bruce told Mr. Webb that Colonel Aber- 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 



87 



crombie of the 22d was dead of a fever, — suppressing the fact 
that the fever was caused by a fatal wound, — a'nd it was not 
until this parley took place that the Americans knew of Pit- 
cairn's death. Lee, on his part, enclosed an account of the 
American losses in that battle. 

As mention has been made of the rifle regiment, the nucleus 
of Morgan's celebrated corps, and as we are now upon the scene 
of their earliest ex- 
ploits, a brief account .^^^8 
of the leader and his 
merry men may not 



be uninteresting. 




FLAG OF MORGAN S REGIMENT. 



The riflemen were 
raised by a resolve of 
Congress, passed June 
14, 1775, which au- 
thorized the employ- 
ment of eight hun- 



dred men of this arm, 
and on the 2 2d of 
the same month two 
companies additional 
from Pennsylvania were voted. The expresses despatched by 
Congress to the persons deputed to raise the companies had in 
many cases to ride from three to four hundred miles, yet such 
was the enthusiasm with which officers and men entered into 
the affair, that one company joined Washington at Cambridge 
on the 25th of July, and the whole body, numbering 1,430 
men, arrived in camp on the 5th and 7th of August. The 
whole business had been completed in less than two months, 
and without the advance of a farthing from the Continental 
treasury. All had marched from four to seven hundred miles, 
encountering the extreme heat of midsummer, yet they bore 
the fatigue of their long tramp remarkably well. They were 
chiefly the backwoodsmen of the Shenandoah Valley, and 
brought their own long rifles with which they kept the savages 
from their clearings or knocked over a fat buck in full career. 



88 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Michael Cresap, the same whom Logan, the Indian chief, charged 
with the cold-blooded murder of his women and children, com- 
manded one of these companies, and Otho H. Williams, who 
afterwards became Greene's able assistant in the South, was 
lieutenant of another. 

It is not to be wondered at that men who in boyhood had 
been punished by their fathers for shooting their game any- 
where except in the head should soon become the terror of 
their foes, or that they should be spoken of in the British camp 
as " shirt-tail men, with their cursed twisted guns, the most 
fatal widow-and-orphan makers in the world." 

Their dress was a white or brown linen hunting-shirt, orna- 
mented with a fringe, and secured by a belt of wampum, in 
which a knife and tomahawk were stuck. Their leggings and 
moccasins were ornamented in the Indian fashion with beads 
and brilliantly dyed porcupine-quills. A round hat completed 
a costume which, it will be conceded, was simple, appropriate, 
and picturesque. Tall, athletic fellows, they seemed to despise 
fatigue as they welcomed danger. They marched in Indian file, 
silent, stealthy, and flitting like shadows though the forests, to 
fall on the enemy at some unguarded point. 

These riflemen were the only purely distinctive body of men 
our Revolution produced. In costume, as in their mode of 
fighting, they were wholly American. In physique and martial 
bearing they were worthy to be compared with the Highlanders 
of Auld Scotland. The devotion of the men to their leader 
was that of clansmen to their chief. Indian fare in their 
pouches and a blanket on their backs found them ready for 
the march. 

We have only to picture to ourselves a " Deer-slayer " or a 
" Hawk-eye " to see one of these hard-visaged, keen-eyed, 
weather-beaten woodsmen stand before us. For a skirmish or 
an ambush such men were unrivalled, but they could not with- 
stand the bayonet, as was shown in the battle of Long Island, 
where the rifle regiment, then commanded by Colonel Hand, 
was broken by a charge. Their weapon required too much 
deliberation to load ; for, after emptying their rifles, the enemy 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 89 

were upon them before they could force the patched ball to the 
bottom of the barrel. 

Colonel Archibald Campbell, of the 71st Highlanders, who, 
with a battalion of his regiment, was taken prisoner in Boston 
harbor and detained at Eeading, admired the rifle-dress so 
much that it was reported he had one made for his own use, 
with which it was supposed he meant to disguise himself and 
effect his escape. The officer who made this discovery described 
the Highland colonel as " a damned knowing fellow," and adds, 
" If he should get away, I think he would make a formidable 
enemy ; for he is the most soldier-like, best-looking man I 
ever saw." 

Morgan was a plain, home-bred man. He was very familiar 
with his men, whom he always called his boys ; but this 
familiarity did not prevent his exacting and receiving implicit 
obedience to his orders. Sometimes, in case of a secret expedi- 
tion, the men ordered on duty were to be in readiness by three 
o'clock in the morning. They were then mounted behind 
horsemen provided for the purpose, and before daybreak would 
thus accomplish a day's march for foot-soldiers. Morgan 'told 
his men to shoot at those who wore epaulettes rather than the 
poor fellows who fought for sixpence a day. He carried a 
conch-shell, which he was accustomed to sound, to let his men 
know he still kept the field. His corps was sent to Gates to 
counteract the fear inspired by Burgoyne's Indian allies, who 
were continually ambushing our outposts and stragglers. It did 
not take them long to accomplish this task. Burgoyne after- 
wards said, not an Indian could be brought within sound of a 
rifle-shot. The British general himself owed his life on one 
occasion to another officer being mistaken for him, who received 
the bullet destined for his general. Washington estimated the 
corps at its true value, and, although he lent it temporarily to 
Gates, he very soon applied for its return ; but Gates begged 
hard to be permitted to retain it, and his victory at Saratoga 
was due in no small degree to its presence. 

The first colonel of the rifle regiment was William Thomp- 
son, by birth an Irishman. He had been captain of a troop of 



90 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

horse in the service of Pennsylvania in the French war of 
1759 - 60, and before the Revolution resided at Fort Pitt, since 
Pittsburg. He was made a brigadier early in 1776, and, hav- 
ing joined General Sullivan in Canada, was made prisoner at 
Trois lUvleres. Thompson was succeeded, in March, 1776, by 
Edward Hand, his lieutenant-colonel, who had accompanied the 
Eoyal Irish to America in 1774 as surgeon's mate, but who 
resigned on his arrival. He was afterwards a brigadier, and 
fought to the close of the war. 

Daniel Morgan, who, in less than a week after the intelli- 
gence of the battle of Lexington, enrolled one hundred and 
seven men, with whom he marched to Cambridge, had been 
a wagoner in Braddock's army in 1755. For knocking 
down a British lieutenant he had received five hundred 
lashes without flinching. He seems at one period to have 
fallen into the worst vices of the camp, but before the Revo- 
lution had become a correct member of society. Washing- 
ton despatched him with Arnold to Quebec in September, 
1775, where, after having forced his way through the first 
defences, he was made prisoner while paroling some captives 
that he himself had taken ; so that a common fate befell both 
Morgan and Thompson, and on the same line of operations. 
Morgan, after his exchange, was appointed colonel of the 11th 
Virginia, a rifle-corps, November 12, 1776. Of his subse- 
quent career we need not speak. 

Chastellux relates that when some of Rochambeau's troops 
were passing a river between Williamsburg and Baltimore, 
where they were crowded in a narrow passage, they were met 
by General Morgan, who, seeing the wagoners did not under- 
stand their business, stopped and showed them how to drive. 
Having put everything in order, he proceeded quietly on 
his way. 

The best account we have of Colonel Morgan's appearance 
describes him as " stout and active, six feet in height, not too 
much encumbered with flesh, and exactly fitted for the pomp 
and toils of war. The features of his face were strong and 
manly, and his brow thoughtful. His manners plain and 



THE CONTINENTAL TEENCHES. 



91 



decorous, neither insinuating nor repulsive. His conversation 
grave, sententious, and considerate, unadorned and uncapti- 
vating." 

Mount Benedict is associated with an event which has no 
parallel, we believe, in the history of our country, namely, the 
destruction of a religious institution by a mob. The ruins of 
the Convent of St. Ursula still remain an evidence of what 
popular rage, directed by superstition and lawlessness, has been 
able to accomplish in a community of high average civilization. 
These ruins have for nearly forty years been a constant re- 
minder of the signal violation of that religious liberty guaran- 
teed by the fathers of the republic. They belong rather to 
1634 than to 1834. 




I .- 



It must be admitted that the Jesuit fathers who planted the 
missions of their order in every available spot in the New 
World possessed an unerring instinct for choosing fine situa- 
tions. Wherever their establishments have been reared civili- 
zation has followed, until towns and cities have grown up and 



92 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

environed their primitive chapels. Whatever may be said 'of 
the order, it has left the finest specimens of ancient architec- 
ture existing oii the American continent. We need only cite 
Quebec, Mexico, and Panama to support this assertion. 

The choice of Mount Benedict, therefore, for the site of a 
convent is only another instance of the good judgment of the 
Catholics. The situation, though bleak in winter, commands a 
superb view of the meadows through which the Mystic winds, 
and of the towns which extend themselves along the opposite 
shores. Beyond these are seen the gray, rocky ridges, resem- 
bling in their undulations some huge monster of antiquity, 
which, coming from the Merrimack, form the most remarkable 
valley in Eastern Massachusetts, and through which, in the dim 
distance of bygone ages, the river may have found its outlet to 
the sea. Perched on their rugged sides appear the cottages 
and villas of a population half city, half rural, but altogether 
distinctive in the well-kept, thrifty appearance of their homes. 

On the night of the 11th of August, 1834, the comment and 
outbuildings were destroyed by incendiary hands. The flames 
raged without any attempt to subdue them, until everything 
combustible was consumed, the bare walls only being left 
standing. The firemen from the neighboring towns were pres- 
ent with their engines, but remained either passive spectators 
or actors in the scenes that ensued. A feeble effort was made by 
the local authorities to disperse the mob, — an effort calculated 
only to excite contempt, unsupported as it was by any show 
of force to sustain it. The affair had been planned, and the 
concerted signal expected. 

For some time previous to the final catastrophe rumors had 
prevailed that Mary St. John Harrison, an iuinate of the con- 
vent and a candidate for the veil, had either been abducted or 
secreted where she could not be found by her friends. As this 
belief obtained currency, an excitement, impossible now to 
imagine, pervaded the community. Threats were openly made 
to burn the convent, but passed unheeded. Printed placards 
were posted in Charlestown, announcing that on such a night 
the convent would be burned, but even this did not arouse the 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 93 

authorities to action. At about ten o'clock on the night in 
question a mob, variously estimated at from four to ten thou- 
sand persons, assembled within and around the convent 
grounds. A bonfire was lighted as avsignal to those who were 
apprised of what was about to take place. The Superior of the 
convent, Mrs. Moffatt, with the other inmates, were notified to 
depart from the doomed building. There were a dozen nuns, 
and more than fifty scholars, some of whom were Protestants, 
and many of a tender age. The announcement filled all with 
alarm, and several swooned with terror. The unfortunate 
females were at length removed to a place of security, and the 
work of destruction began and concluded without hindrance. 
The mob did not even respect the tomb belonging 'to the con- 
vent, but entered and violated this sanctuary of the dead. 

A general burst of indignation followed this dastardly out- 
rage. Reprisals from the Catholics were looked for, and it was 
many years before the bad blood created by the event subsided. 
The better feeling of the community was aroused ; and few 
meetings in Old Faneuil Hall have given more emphatic utter- 
ance to its voice than that called at this time by Mayor Lyman, 
and addressed by Harrison Gray Otis, Josiah Quincy, Jr., and 
others. Measures of security were adopted, and once more, in 
the language of the wise old saw, " the stable door was shut 
after the steed had escaped." 

The Catholics showed remarkable forbearance. On the day 
following the conflagration their bishop, Fenwick, contributed 
by his judicious conduct to allay the exasperation of his flock ; 
and even Father Taylor, the old, earnest pastor of the seamen, 
was listened to with respectful attention by a large assemblage 
of Irish Catholics, who had gathered in the immediate neigh- 
borhood of their church, in Franklin Street, Boston, on the 
same occasion. 

In reverting to the conduct of the firemen, it should be re- 
membered that Colonel Thomas C. Amory, then chief engineer 
of the Boston Fire Department, repaired to the convent at the 
first alarm, and did all in his power to bring the firemen to 
their duty. Finding this a hopeless task, he then visited the 



94 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

bishop, and advised him to take such precautions as the danger- 
ous temper of the mob seemed to demand. 

Many arrests were made, and some of the rioters were con- 
victed and punished. Chief Justice Shaw was then on the 
bench, and John Davis governor of the State. Both exerted 
themselves to bring the offenders to justice, and to vindicate 
the name of the old Commonwealth from reproach. 

The form of the main building of the convent, which faced 
southeast, was a parallelogram of about thirty-three paces long 
by ten in breadth ; what appear to have been two wings joined 
it on the west side. The buildings were partly of brick and 
partly of the blue stone found abundantly in the neighboring 
quarries ; tile principal edifice being of three stories, with a 
pitched roof, and having entrances both in the east and west 
fronts. The grounds, which were very extensive, and em- 
braced most of the hill, were terraced down to the highway and 
adorned with shrubbery. A fine orchard of several acres, in 
the midst of which the buildings stood, extends on the west 
quite to the limits of the enclosure, where are still visible the 
remains of the convent tomb. A few elms and other shade- 
trees are still standing on the hillside, and in the season of their 
verdure interpose a kindly screen between the wayfarer and the 
blackened ruins. In spite of the air of desolation and neglect, 
the place still possesses some relics of its former beauty. 

The convent was opened on the 17th of July, 1826. It is 
but little known that there was a similar establishment in 
Boston, contiguous to the Cathedral in Franklin Street, though 
no incident drew the popular attention to it. The information 
upon which the mob acted in the sack of the Mount Benedict 
institution proved wholly groundless. 

When we last visited the spot the scene was one of utter 
loneliness. Year by year the walls have been crumbling away, 
until the elements are fast completing what the fire spared. 
The snow enshrouded the heaps of debris and the jagged out- 
lines of the walls with a robe as spotless as that of St. Ursula 
herself. For nearly forty years these blackened memorials of the 
little community of St. Angela have been visible to thousands 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 95 

journeying to and from the neighboring city. The lesson has 
been sharp, but effectual. Whoever should now raise the torch 
against such an establishment would be deemed a madman. 

Our interest is awakened at the mention of Ten Hills Farm 
in connection with the plantation of Governor Winthrop, who 
gave it the name by which it is still known, from the ten little 
elevations which crowned its uneven surface, and of which the 
greater number remain visible to this day. 

The grant to Winthrop was made September 6, 1631, of six 
hundred acres of land " near his house at Mistick," from which 
it would appear that the governor already had a house built 
there which was probably occupied by his servants. We are 
now speaking of a time nearly coincident with the settlement 
of Boston, when no other craft than the Indian canoe had ever 
cleft the waters of the Mystic, and when wild beasts roamed 
the neighboring forests. 

Governor Winthrop tells his own story of what he, the 
original white inhabitant of Ten Hills, experienced there in 
1631: — 

" The governour, being at his farm house at Mistick, walked out 
after supper, and took a piece in his hand, supposing he might see a 
wolf, (for they came daily about the house, and killed swine and 
calves, etc. ;) and being about half a mile off, it grew suddenly dark, 
so as, in coming home, he mistook his path, and went til he came 
to a little house of Sagamore John, which stood empty. There he 
stayed, and having a piece of match in his pocket, (for he always 
carried about him match and a compass, and in summer time snake- 
weed,) he made a good fire near the house, and lay down upon some 
old mats which he found there, and so spent the night, sometimes 
walking by the fire, sometimes singing psalms, and sometimes getting 
wood, but could not sleep. It was (through God's mercy) a warm 
night; but a little before day it began to rain, and having no cloak, 
he made shift by a long pole to climb up into the house. In the 
morning there came thither an Indian squaw, but, perceiving her 
before she had opened the door, he barred her out; yet she stayed 
there a great while essaying to get in, and at last she went away, 
and he returned safe home, his servants having been much perplexed 
for him, and having walked about, and shot off pieces, and hallooed 
in the night, but he heard them not." 



96 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Savage supposes that Ten Hills was the governor's summer 
residence for the first two or three years ; Boston being, after 
the removal of his house there, his constant home. It has also 
been usually considered as the place where Winthrop built his 
little bark, the Blessing of the Bay, the first English keel 
launched in the jurisdiction of Massachusetts Colony. This 
event occurred on the 4th of July, 1631, and in October the 
Blessing spread her canvas and bore away on a voyage to 
the eastward. 

The farm of Ten Hills was owned at the time of the Revolu- 
tion by Robert Temple, a royalist ; and the house he occupied 
is now standing there on the supposed site of Governor Win- 
throp's. The highest of the ten eminences lies between the 
house and the river, warding off the bleak northwest winds. 

The mansion-house has a spacious hall, and a generous provis- 
ion of large square rooms. As you ascend the stairs, in front 
of you, at the first landing, is a glass door, opening into a snug 
little apartment which overlooks the river. This must have 
been a favorite resort of the family. The wainscoting and other 
wood-work is in good condition, if a general filthiness be ex- 
cepted, inseparable from the occupancy of the house by numer- 
ous families of the laborers in the neighboring brickyards. The 
high ground on which the house stands is being digged away, 
and this old dwelling will probably soon disappear. 

Robert Temple of Ten Hills was an elder brother of Sir John 
Temple, Bart., the first Consul-General from England to the 
United .States. His eldest daughter became Lady Dufferin. 
Mr. Temple sailed for England as early as May, 1775 ; but, the 
vessel being obliged to put into Plymouth, Massachusetts, he 
was detained and sent to Cambridge camp. Mr. Temple's 
family continued to reside in the mansion at Ten Hills after 
his attempted departure, under the protection of General Ward. 
The Baronet married a daughter of Governor Bowdoin, while 
his brother's wife was a daughter of Governor Shirley. 

Previous to his coming to Ten Hills, Robert Temple had 
resided on Noddle's Island, in the elegant mansion there after- 
wards occupied by Henry Howell Williams. Although himself 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 97 

a tenant, the Temples had in times past owned the island. Sir 
Thomas, who was proprietor in 1667, had been formerly Gov- 
ernor of Nova Scotia. It is related of him, that once, when on 
a visit to England, he was presented to Charles II., who com- 
plained to him that the colonists had usurped his prerogative 
of coining money. Sir Thomas replied, that they thought it 
no crime to coin money for their own use, and presented his 
Majesty some of Master Hull's pieces, on which was a tree. 
The king inquiring what tree that was, the courtier answered, 
" The royal oak which protected your Majesty's life," — a reply 
which charmed the king and caused him to look with more 
favor on the offending colony. If one of Master Hull's shillings 
be examined, we are not greatly surprised that his Majesty so 
readily believed the pine to be an oak. 

Ten Hills was the landing-place of Gage's night expedition 
to seize the powder in the province magazine, in September, 
1774. The next day the uprising in Middlesex took place. 
And on Saturday, the 3d, the soldiers were harnessed to four 
field-pieces, which they dragged to Boston Neck, and placed in 
battery there. The Lively frigate, of twenty guns, came to her 
moorings in the ferry-way between Boston and Charlestown, 
and the avenues to the doomed town were shut up as effectually 
by land as they had been by water. 

The vicinity of Ten Hills was that chosen by Mike Martin 
for the robbery of Major Bray. It was near where the old 
lane leading to the Temple farm-house, and now known as 
Temple Street, enters the turnpike, that the robber overtook 
the chaise of his victim. After his condemnation, Martin 
related, with apparent gusto, that the pistol which he presented 
at the Major's head was neither loaded nor cocked, but that 
the latter was terribly frightened and trembled like a leaf. 
Mrs. Bray tried to conceal her watch, but was assured by the 
highwayman that he did not rob ladies. Even now the place 
seems lonesome, and is not the one we should select for an 
evening promenade. 

On a little promontory which overlooks the Mystic the 
remains of a redoubt erected by Sullivan are still distinct. At 

5 G 



98 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

this point the river makes a westerly bend, so that a hostile 
flotilla must approach for some distance in the teeth of a raking 
fire from this redoubt. This was £ully proved when the enemy 
brought their floating batteries within range to attack the work- 
ing party on Ploughed Hill and enfilade the road. A nine- 
pounder mounted in this redoubt sunk one of the enemy's bat- 
teries and disabled the other, while an armed vessel which 
accompanied them had her foresail shot away, and was 
obliged to sheer off. The next day (Monday, September 28) 
the enemy sent a man-of-war into Mystic River, drew some of 
their forces over from Boston to Charlestown, where they 
formed a heavy column of attack, and seemed prepared to make 
a bold push, — as was fully expected in the American camp, — 
but Bunker Hill was too recent in their memories, and Ploughed 
Hill had been made much stronger than the position they had 
carried with so much loss of life on the 17th of June; the 
combat was declined. 

Leaving the redoubt, a hundred yards higher up the hill we 
find traces of another work, with two of the angles quite clearly 
defined. The little battery first mentioned is as well preserved 
as any of the intrenchments made by the left wing of the 
American army. It is but a slight mound of earth, but ah, 
how full of glorious memories ! 

General Sullivan, on first coming to camp, took up his quar- 
ters at Medford, where Stark, and his New Hampshire men 
were already assembled. In a letter to the Committee of 
Safety, the general lamented extremely that the New Hamp- 
shire forces were without a chaplain, and were obliged to attend 
prayers with the Ehode-Islanders on Prospect Hill. We are 
ignorant whether the men of New Hampshire required more 
praying for than the men of Ehode Island, but we fully recog- 
nize the fact that in those days an army chaplain was not a 
mere ornamental appendage, dangling at the queue of the staff. 
General Sullivan was absent from camp in November, 1775, 
having been sent to Portsmouth on account of the alarm occa- 
sioned by the burning of Palmouth. He took with him some 
artillery officers and a company of the rifle regiment. About 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 99 

the same time General Lee went to Khode Island on a similar 
mission. 

Samuel Jaques, a later resident of Ten Hills Farm, is worthy 
of remembrance as a distinguished agriculturist. Born in 1776, 
a few weeks after the declaration of formal separation from 
England, he died in 1859, just at the dawn of a scarcely less 
momentous convulsion, thus spanning .with his own life the 
greatest epochs of our history. 

Colonel Jaques was in habits and manners the type of the 
English country gentleman. When a resident of Charlestown, 
he had, like Cradock's men at Mystic Side in 1632, impaled a 
deer-park. He also kept his hounds, and often wakened the 
echoes of the neighboring hills with the note of his bugle ortha 
cry of his pack, bringing the drowsy slumberer from his bed by 
sounds so unwonted. We trust no incredulous reader will be 
startled at the assertion that the hills of Somerville have re- 
sounded with the fox-hunter's " tally-ho ! " 

Colonel Jaques, who acquired his title by long service in the 
militia, was engaged for a time during the hostilities of 1812 
in the defence of the shores of the bay, being stationed at 
Chelsea in command of a small detachment. He was twenty- 
eight years a resident of the old Temple Manor, and discharged 
the duties of hospitality in a manner that did no discredit to 
the ancient proprietor. The farm was also occupied at one time 
by Elias Hasket Derby, who stocked it with improved breeds 
of sheep. 

The place has now been much disfigured with excavations, to 
procure the clay, which is excellent for brickmaking, and that 
branch of industry has been extensively carried on for many 
years by the sons of Colonel Jaques. In time a large portion 
of the soil has been removed, and is, or was, standing in many 
a noble edifice in the neighboring city, — a gradual but sure 
process of annexation. The vein of clay, which is traced from 
Watertown to Lynn, underlies Ten Hills Farm. 

Brickmaking was very early pursued by the settlers, one, 
at least, of the houses they built in the first decade of the set- 
tlement being still in existence. The size of bricks was regu- 



100 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

lated by Charles I., hence the name statute-bricks. The very 
first vessels which arrived at Salem had bricks stowed under 
their hatches, which were doubtless used in the erection of 
some of the big chimney-stacks that still exist there, their in- 
destructible materials rendering them as useful to-day as when 
they were originally burnt. In 1745 all the bricks used in 
reconstructing the worjvs at Louisburg and Annapolis Eoyal 
were shipped from Boston to General Amherst. The recent 
and disastrous examples of Portland, Chicago, and Boston have 
only confirmed the experience that bricks are more durable 
than stone. The sun-dried bricks of Nineveh and Babylon are 
still in existence, while the Eoman baths of Caracalla and Titus 
have withstood the action of the elements far better than the 
stone of the Coliseum or the marble of the Forum. 

"Winter Hill was fortified immediately after the battle of 
Bunker Hill, and garrisoned by the commands of Poor, Stark, 
Eeed, Mansfield, and Doolittle. The policy of placing the sol- 
diers of the same colony together was at first observed, and 
while Greene on Prospect Hill had his Phode-Islanders, Sulli- 
van on Winter Hill quartered in the midst of the men of New 
Hampshire. Webb's and Hutchinson's regiments were under 
Sullivan's orders in November, 1775. 

This, being the extreme left of the American interior line of 
defence, was fortified with great assiduity, especially as it 
covered the land approach to the town of Medford, and, to 
some extent, the navigation of the Mystic. The principal work 
was thrown up directly across the road leading over the hill, 
now Broadway, at the point where the Medford road diverges ; 
and, except at the northwest angle, where it was entered by the 
last-named highway, was enclosed on all sides. It was in form 
an irregular pentagon, with bastions and deep fosse. A breast- 
work conforming with the present direction of Central Street 
joined the southwest angle. This plan of redoubt and breast- 
work was the almost stereotyped form of the American works. 
A hundred yards in advance of the fort were outworks, in 
which guards were nightly posted. When Central Street was 
being made, the remains of the intrenchment were exposed, and 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 101 

are also remembered by some of the older people in the vacant 
land of Mr. Byam on the north side of the road. 

Let us take a view of Sullivan's camp and fortress as it was 
in November, 1775. At eight in the morning the drummers 
and filers of all the regiments on the hill assemble in the 
citadel and beat the troop. The martial sounds are taken up 
on Prospect Hill, and passed on to Heath at Cambridge. The 
refrain echoes along the line until it reaches the veteran Thomas 
at Eoxbury, where it is wafted across the waters of the bay to 
the ears of the king's sentinel on the ramparts of the castle. 

The details for pickets and guards are now paraded and 
inspected by the brave Alexander Scammell, who has followed 
his general and friend from the law-office at Exeter to be hir; 
major of brigade in the Continental service. The camp is now 
fully astir, and the detachments for fatigue are in motion. 
Some march to the neighboring forests, where they are em- 
ployed in cutting wood for fuel and material for fascines. 
Soon the frosty air is vocal with the blows of their axes. 
Others are employed in mending the roads, strengthening the 
works, or deepening the ditches ; still others are busy erecting 
barracks for the approaching winter. Bustle and preparation 
have invaded the former solitude of the green slopes, and the 
beautiful verdure is furrowed with yawning trenches. 

There never were such men for building earthworks as the 
Americans. Fort after fort rose before the astonished vision of 
the Britons, like the fabled palace of Aladdin. Now Breed's 
Hill, then Lechmere's Point, and finally Dorchester Heights, 
showed what workers those Yankees were. Gage was aston- 
ished, Howe petrified ; both were outgeneralled before Boston. 

In fine weather the men off duty engage in a thousand 
occupations or amusements. Some read, others write, while 
not a few are cleaning their trusty firelocks or elaborately carv- 
ing their powder-horns, to be handed down as heirlooms to 
their children's children. 

Until barracks were built, officers and men made for them- 
selves huts, after the manner described by Mr. Emerson, the 
general being accommodated in an old house on the hill. The 



102 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

officers exchanged visits, attended garrison courts -martial, — 
which might be held in Nixon's hut or Doolittle's barracks, — 
or rambled through the adjacent lines. Card-playing, the 
soldiers' favorite pastime, was strongly discountenanced by the 
commander-in-chief ; but we believe we should only have to lift 
the corner of the old sail that served as a door to the huts to 
see group after group, rebels that they were, paying court to 
king and queen. At night a bit of tallow candle, stuck in the 
socket of a bayonet, serves to illuminate the soldier's cabin and 
prolong his pleasures till the drums at tattoo admonish him that 
the day is done. 

Within the lines a regiment went on duty every night. The 
tOur came round often ; the service was hard. A company was 
stationed at Medford to prevent the men straggling from camp ; 
and not a few officers, seduced by the comforts of a clean bed 
or the witchery of a pair of bright eyes, were in the habit of 
absenting themselves from camp to sleep at Mystic, as Medford 
was then called. 

There was in each brigade a field-officer of the day. When 
a colonel mounted guard he was attended by his own surgeon 
and adjutant. He was in the saddle from troop to retreat, 
catching, perhaps, a mouthful at the picket, or sharing pot-luck 
with some comrade while on his rounds. The advanced lines 
must be visited twice a day, and if there should be an alarm, 
the officer of the day must be at the threatened point. The 
post at Ten Hills, the valley redoubts, the detachments at 
Mystic and the Powder House, were comprised within his 
charge. He must not sleep or remove his arms during his tour. 

Mrs. John Adams, in her letters, has left some admirable 
portraits of the distinguished characters of the Eevolutionary 
army. Speaking of General Sullivan, she says : — 

" I drank coffee one day with General Sullivan upon Winter Hill. 
He appears to be a man of sense and spirit. His countenance de- 
notes him of a warm constitution, not to be very suddenly moved, 
but, when once roused, not very easily luiled; easy .and social; well 
calculated for a military station, as he seems to be possessed of those 
popular qualities necessary to attach men to him." 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 103 

A London paper said, in 1777: "General Sullivan, taken 
prisoner by the king's troops, was an attorney, and only laid 
down the pen for the sword about eight months ago, though now 
a general." He was found by the Hessians after the disastrous 
battle of Long Island, secreted in a cornfield; was searched, 
and General Washington's orders taken from him. Among 
the ridiculous stories with which the foreign officers regaled 
their home correspondents, the Hessian, Heeringen, in de- 
scribing this affair, says : "John Sullivan is a lawyer, but 
before has been a footman ; he is, however, a man of genius, 
whom the rebels will very much miss." In the same letter 
Lord Stirling, who was also made prisoner, is spoken of as an 
" echappe cle famille, who is as much like Lord Granby as one 
egg is like another." General Putnam, says the same authority, 
is a butcher by trade. This battle of Long Island was where 
the Hessians became so terrible to their adversaries. They re- 
peatedly halted under a heavy fire to dress their lines and 
advance with Old-World precision. Their officers took care to 
tell them the rebels would give no quarter, consequently they 
put to death all who fell into their hands. Some of the 
Americans were found after the action pinned to trees with 
bayonets. At Trenton these bugbears were stripped of their 
lions' skins. 

General Sullivan was rather short in stature, but well-made 
and active. His complexion was dark, his nose prominent, his 
eye black and piercing. His countenance, as a whole, was har- 
monious and agreeable. 

Scammell had been a schoolmaster and a surveyor before he 
became Sullivan's confidential clerk. In 1770 he was a mem- 
ber of the Old Colony Club, the first society in New England 
to commemorate publicly the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. 
He stood six feet two inches, — just the height of the com- 
mander-in-chief, — and fought on the hardest fields of the 
Ee volution. Just as final victory was about to crown the 
efforts of the Americans, Scammell fell at Yorktown, a victim 
to the ignorance or brutality of a Hessian vidette. When this 
unlucky event occurred he was in command of a picked corps 
of light infantry. 



104 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

There are two actors in the same great drama of which we are 
endeavoring to rearrange the scenes, whose acquaintance prob- 
ably begun here, and whose fates long after became interwoven. 
These two were James Wilkinson and Aaron Burr. Both joined 
the army at Cambridge as volunteers in 1775. Washington 
gave the former, who first united himself with Thompson's rifle- 
corps, a captaincy in Reed's regiment. At the time of this 
appointment he was a member of General Greene's military 
family on Prospect Hill, and did not, therefore, join his regi- 
ment until he reached New York. Wilkinson took part in the 
possession of Cobble Hill, Lechmere's Point, and Dorchester 
Heights, and has recorded his opinion that Howe might have 
forced Washington's lines at almost any time prior to January, 
1776. 

As is well known, Wilkinson became Gates's adjutant-gen- 
eral in the campaign against Burgoyne, and was the bearer of 
the official despatches of the surrender to Congress. He was 
implicated in the Conway cabal, but became estranged from 
Gates, and a challenge passed between them. Wilkinson says 
that Gates came to him at the last moment with an apology, 
and that the duel did not take place, but it was currently re- 
ported in the army to the contrary. A general officer, writing 
from White Plains, September, 1778, says: "General Gates 
fought a duel with Mr. Wilkinson. General Gates's pistols 
w^ould not give fire, but flashed twice. Wilkinson's gave fire, 
but the balls did not take effect." "Wilky," as he was called 
in the army, was elegant in person and manners. 

Burr and Matthias Ogden were recommended to Sullivan by 
Gates in November, 1775, for positions, in reward for past ser- 
vices. Both accompanied Arnold to Quebec. Colonel Burr's 
eventful career is familiar. His eye was remarkably piercing 
and brilliant. With talents equal to' any position, he seems to 
have been formed by nature for a conspirator. The courtliness 
of his manner and address gave him a fatal ascendency over 
both sexes, of which he did not scruple to avail himself. The 
death of Hamilton and the ruin of Blennerhassett painfully 
illustrate the career of Aaron Burr. 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 105 

It is not a little curious that Arnold, Burr, and Silas Deane, 
who, it is believed, was more sinned against than sinning', 
were from the same State. It is also a coincidence that the 
two former in their young, chivalric days should have fallen in 
love with two young ladies of the New England capital, both 
celebrated for their beauty. Arnold lost his heart to the 
" heavenly Miss Deblois," and laid at her feet the spoils of rich 
stuffs which he had ignobly plundered from the shops of Mon- 
treal. His suit was, however, unsuccessful ; for when did a 
Boston girl become the mother of traitors % Burr, on his part, 
improved a visit which Madam Hancock, the governor's aunt, 
was paying his uncle at Fairfield, to lay siege to the heart of 
Dorothy Quincy, who was then under the protection of Madam 
Hancock. Aaron was then a handsome young fellow of very 
pretty fortune ; but the dowager, who was apprehensive that he 
might defeat her purpose of uniting Miss Quincy to her nephew, 
would not leave them a moment together. If we are to believe 
report, the lady was not insensible to the insinuating manners 
of young Burr. 

John Vanderlyn, the painter, owed his rescue from the ob- 
scurity of a village blacksmith's shop to the acuteness and 
patronage of Colonel Burr. The latter, while journeying in the 
interior of New York, was much struck by a little pen-and-ink 
drawing that hung over the fireplace in the bar-room of a 
tavern. The lad was sent for, and, on parting, Colonel Burr 
said to him : " Put a shirt in your pocket, come to New York, 
and inquire for Aaron Burr ; he will take care of you." The 
boy followed his patron, who sent him to Paris, where he 
achieved a reputation that justified the sagacity of the then 
Vice-President of the United States. 

Amon" the officers who served on Winter Hill, and who 
subsequently acquired fame, were Henry Dearborn, John Brooks, 
and Joseph Cilley. Dearborn was a captain in Stark's regi- 
ment, Brooks major of Bridges', and Cilley of Poor's regiment. 
Dearborn and Brooks became very distinguished in military and 
civil life : both testified their affection for Alexander Scammell 
by naming a son for that lamented officer ; both fought with 
conspicuous valor at Saratoga. 



106 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



.During the battle of Monmouth a corps commanded by 
Colonel Dearborn acquitted themselves with such undaunted 
bravery that they attracted particular notice. A Southern 
officer of rank rode up to Dearborn and inquired " who they 
were, and to what portion of America that regiment belonged." 
The Colonel replied in this laconic and soldierly manner : 
" Full-blooded Yankees, by G-d, sir, from the State of New 
Hampshire." * The same anecdote has been related of Colonel 
Cilley. 

The Germans of Burgoyne's army, to the number of about 

nineteen hundred, took 
up their quarters in the 
barracks and huts on 
Winter Hill which had 
been used by the Ameri- 
cans. General Riedesel, 
with his family, were ac- 
commodated in a farm- 
house, where he was 
obliged to content him- 
self with a room and a 
garret, with nothing bet- 
ter than straw for a couch. 
The General's biographer 
continues the description: 
"The landlord was very 
kind, but his other half was a veritable dragon, doing every- 
thing to offend and annoy her obnoxious guests. But, as it was 
impossible to find another place, they were obliged to put up 
with everything rather than be driven from the house." After 
a sojourn here of three weeks, the General and Madame 
Eiedesel were furnished with excellent quarters at Cambridge. 
Several of the ofhce'rs were allowed to reside at that place and 
at Medford, but none were allowed to pass into Boston without 
special permission. The officers and soldiers had the privilege 
of going, first a mile, and eventually three miles, from their 
* Mrs. Warren. 




HESSIAN FLAG. 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 107 

barracks. Colonel "William Raymond Lee commanded on 
Winter Hill at the time of the arrival of the Hessians. 

These mercenaries were employed, it is said, at the instiga- 
tion of Lord George Germaine. The British government stipu- 
lated with the Landgrave of Hesse to pay £ 30 sterling for 
every man that did not return, and £15 sterling for each one 
disabled, so that it was commonly said, after a battle in which 
the Hessians were engaged, that their loss was the Landgrave's 
gain. Similar treaties were made with the Duke of Brunswick 
and the Count of Hanau. 

We make the following extracts, which serve to convey an 
accurate idea of the condition of things on Winter Hill as they 
appeared to the German prisoners, from General Riedesel's 
memoirs : — 

" The camp of the prisoners was encircled by a chain of outposts. 
The officers, who were permitted to go somewhat beyond the camp, 
were obliged to promise in writing, on their word of honor, to go no 
farther beyond it than a mile and a half. Within this space are the 
villages Cambridge, Mystic, or Medford, and a part of Charlestown. 
In these places the generals end brigadiers could select lodgings, for 
which, of course, they had to pay dearly. After a while this per- 
mission was extended to other staff and subaltern officers. Only a 
few of the Brunswickers availed themselves of this permission, pre- 
ferring to remain in their miserable barracks, and thus share all 
inconveniences witli their men. 

" The camp was located on a height, which, to a distance of eight 
miles, was surrounded with woods, thus presenting a splendid view 
of Boston, the harbor, and the vast ocean. The barracks had been 
built in 1775, at the time that the Americans first took up arms, and 
upon these very heights took their first position against General 
Gage. These heights were fortified. 

" When the fatigued and worn-out troops arrived here on the 7th 
of November they found not the least tiling for their support. A 
little straw and some wood was everything that was furnished to the 
soldiers. The officers and privates were obliged to repair the bar- 
racks as well as they could, although they had neither tools nor ma- 
terials with which to do it. Necessity, however, which is the mother 
of invention, accomplished incredible things." 

The question, " Will Yankees fight ? " had to be settled in 



108 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the Bevolution. It might be supposed that Lexington and 
Bunker Hill would have given a final answer to such queries, 
but they did not. The New England troops, when they came 
to join those from the Southern Colonies, were mercilessly ridi- 
culed by the chivalrous Southrons. It was Puritan and Cava- 
lier over again. Hear the avowal of a Pennsylvania officer, 
who evidently spoke the feeling of his section : — 

" In so contemptible a light were the New England men regarded, 
that it was scarcely held possible to conceive a case which could be 
construed into a reprehensible disrespect of them." 

The officers came in for a degree of ridicule second only to 
the rank and file. 

" So far from aiming at a deportment which might raise them 
above their privates, and thence prompt them to due respect and 
obedience to their commands, the_ object was, by humility, to pre- 
serve .the existing blessing of equality ; an illustrious instance of 
which was given by Colonel Putnam, the chief engineer of the army, 
and no less a personage than the nephew of the major-general of 
that name. ' What ! ' says a person, meeting him one day with a 
piece of meat in his hand, 'carrying home your rations yourself, 
Colonel 1 ' ' Yes,' says he, ' and I do it to set the officers a good 
example.' " 

This feeling, which the Southerners were at no pains to con- 
ceal, was not lost on the objects of it, who, nevertheless, for the 
most part quietly endured the opprobrium, trusting to their 
deeds to set them right in good time. Sullivan, who was a little 
quick-tempered, was rather restive under such treatment. An 
officer of Smallwood's Maryland regiment, which " was distin- 
guished by the most fashionably cut coat, the most macaroni 
cocked-hat, and hottest blood in the Union," had been guilty 
of some disrespect or disobedience to the General. He was 
arrested and tried, but, as the narrator ingeniously records, a 
majority of the officers being Southern men, the offender was 
acquitted with honor. Putnam and Greene were not exempt 
from the derision of these blue-blooded heroes. 

This was about the time of the disastrous campaign of Long 



THE CONTINENTAL TRENCHES. 109 

Island. The battle of Trenton displayed the qualities of the 
men of New England in such a light that a more creditable 
feeling began to be discovered by the men of the South. The 
despised Yankees showed themselves true descendants of the 
men of Marston Moor, Dunbar, and Worcester ; they became 
to Washington what Cromwell's Ironsides were to the Protec- 
tor. The Southern cock crowed less loudly, and Northern 
courage, proved again and again, asserted, as it ever will assert, 
to its gainsayers : — 

" If you dare fight to-day, come to the field ; 
If not, when you have stomachs." 

We may well pardon one of our generals a little exultation 
when he writes home, after the battles of Trenton and Prince- 
ton : — 

" I have been much pleased to see a day approaching to try the 
difference between Yankee cowardice and Southern valor. The day, 
or rather the days, have arrived, and all the general officers allowed, 
and do allow, that Yankee cowardice assumes the shape of true 
valor in the field, and that Southern valor appears to be a composi- 
tion of boasting and conceit. General Washington made no scruple 
to say publicly that the remains of the Eastern regiments were the 
strength of his army, though their numbers were, comparatively 
speaking, but small. He calls them in front when the enemy are 
there. He sends them to the rear when the enemy threaten that 
way. All the general officers allow them to be the best of troops. 
The Southern officers and soldiers allow it in time of danger, but not 
at all other times. Believe me, sir, the Yankees took Trenton before 
the other troops knew anything of the matter. More than that, there 
was an engagement, and, what will still surprise you more, the line 
that attacked the town consisted of but eight hundred Yankees, and 
there were sixteen hundred Hessians to oppose them. At Prince- 
ton, where the 17th regiment had thrown thirty-five hundred 
Southern militia into the utmost confusion, a regiment of Yankees 
restored the day. This General Mifflin confessed to me, though the 
Philadelphia papers tell us a different story. It seems to have been 
quite forgot that, while the 17th regiment was engaging these troops, 
six hundred Yankees had the town to take against the 40th and 55th 
regiments, which they did without loss, owing to the manner of 
attack." 



110 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTEE V. 

THE OLD WAYSIDE MILL. 

' ' There watching high the least alarms, 
Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar, 
Like some bold vet'ran gray in arms, 
And marked with many a seamy scar." 

BY far the most remarkable object to be seen in the vicinity 
of Boston is the Old Powder House, which stands on a 
little eminence hard by the road leading from Winter Hill 
to Arlington, — formerly the old stage-road to Keene, New 
Hampshire. In the day of its erection it stood at the meeting 
of the roads from Cambridge, Mystic, and Menotomy, — a situ- 
ation excellently adapted to the wants of the settlements. 

It is the only really antique ruin we can boast of in Massa- 
chusetts; and for solitary picturesqueness, in all New England, 
only its fellow, the Old Mill at Newport, can rival it. Long 
before you reach the spot its venerable aspect rivets the atten- 
tion. Its novel structure, its solid masonry, no less than the 
extraordinary contrast with everything around, stamp it as 
the handiwork of a generation long since forgotten. We 
are not long in deciding it to be a windmill of the early 
settlers. 

The Old Mill, as we shall call it, belongs to the early part of 
the reign of good Queen Anne, and was doubtless erected by 
John Mallet, who came into possession of the site in 1703 - 04. 
It remained for a considerable period in the Mallet family, de- 
scending at last, in 1747, to Michael, son of Andrew Mallet, by 
whom it was conveyed in the same year to the Province of the 
Massachusetts Bay in New England, for the use of " y e Gover- 
nor, Council and Assembly of said province," with the right of 
way to and from the high-road. It had, however, ceased to be 



THE OLD WAYSIDE MILL. Ill 

used as a windmill long before this transfer. So that before 
Shirley's armada had set sail for Louisburg, its lusty arms had 
ceased to beat the air. Strange that an edifice erected to sustain 
life should become the receptacle of such a death-dealing sub- 
stance as powder ! 

The walls of the mill are about two feet in thickness, with an 
inner structure of brick, the outside of which is encased in a 
shell of blue stone, quarried, probably, on the hillside. Within, 
it has three stages or lofts supported by oaken beams of great 
thickness, and having, each, about six feet of clear space between. 
A respectable number of visitors have carved their names on 
these timbers. There were entrances on the northwest and 
southwest sides, but only the latter belonged to the original 
edifice, the small brick structure on the northwest having been 
constructed at a recent date. From this southwest door expands 
a most charming view. The structure is capped with a conical 
roof, from which the shingles threaten with every blast to sep- 
arate ; and the lightning-rod which once protected the strange 
grist kept for a time in the mill hangs now uselessly by its 
fastenings. The edifice is about thirty feet high, with a diameter 
of fifteen feet at its base. 

Mallet's Mill ground for many an old farmstead of Middle- 
sex, Hampshire, or Essex. The old farm-house in which the 
miller dwelt stood by the roadside, where a newer habitation 
now is. Ten, thirty, sixty miles, and back, the farmers sent 
their sons to mill. The roads were few and bad. Oxen per- 
formed the labor of the fields. Those that came from a dis- 
tance mounted their horses astride a sack of com in lieu of 
saddle, and so performed their journey. 

As a historical monument, the mill is commemorative of one 
of the earliest hostile acts of General Gage, one which led to 
the most important events. At the instance of William Brattle, 
at that time major-general of the Massachusetts militia, General 
Gage sent an expedition to seize the powder in this magazine 
belonging to the province. About four o'clock on the morning 
of September 1, 1774, two hundred and sixty soldiers embarked 
from Long Wharf, in Boston, in thirteen boats, and proceeded 



112 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

up the Mystic Kiver, landing at Ten Hills Farm, less than a 
mile from the Powder House. The magazine, which then con- 
tained two hundred and fifty half-barrels of powder, was speed- 
ily emptied, and the explosive mixture transported to the 
Castle, while a detachment of the. expedition proceeded to 
Cambridge and brought off two field-pieces there. At the 
time of this occurrence William Gamage was keeper of the 
magazine. 

The news of the seizure circulated with amazing rapidity, 
and on the following morning several thousand of the inhabi- 
tants of the neighboring towns had assembled on Cambridge 
Common. This appears to have been the very first occasion on 
which the provincials assembled in arms with the intention of 
opposing the forces of their king. Those men who repaired to 
the Common at Cambridge were the men of Middlesex ; when, 
therefore, we place Massachusetts in the front . of the Eevolu- 
tion, we must put Middlesex in the van. It was at this time 
that the lieutenant-governor (Oliver) and several of the coun- 
cillors were compelled to resign. The Eevolution had fully 
begun, and accident alone prevented the first blood being shed 
on Cambridge, instead of Lexington, Common. 

We will not leave the old mill until we consider for a 
moment what a centre of anxious solicitude it had become in 
1775, when the word " powder" set the whole camp in a shiver. 
Putnam prayed for it ; Greene, Sullivan, and the rest begged 
it of their provincial committees. A terrible mistake had 
occurred through the inadvertence of the Massachusetts Com- 
mittee, which had returned four hundred and eighty-five quar- 
ter-casks as on hand, when there were actually but thirty-eight 
barrels in the magazine. When Washington was apprised of 
this startling error, he sat for half an hour without uttering 
a word. The generals present — the discovery was made at a 
general council — felt with him as if the army and the cause 
had received its death-blow. " The word 'Powder' in a letter," 
says Eeed, " sets us all a-tiptoe." The heavy artillery was use- 
less ; they were obliged to bear with the cannonade of the 
rascals on Bunker Hill in silence ; and, what was worse than 



THE OLD WAYSIDE MILL. 113 

all the rest, there were only nine rounds for the small-arms in 
the hands of the men. In the whole contest there was not a 
more dangerous hour for America. 

We have had occasion elsewhere to mention this scarcity of 
ammunition. At no time was the army in possession of abun- 
dance. Before Boston the cartridges were taken from the men 
that left camp, and fourpence was charged ' for every one ex- 
pended without proper account. The inhabitants were called 
upon to give up their window-weights to be moulded into bul- 
lets, and even the churchyards were laid under contribution for 
the leaden coats-of-arms of the deceased. The metal pipes of 
the English Church of Cambridge were appropriated for a like 
purpose. On the lines the men plucked the fuses from the 
enemy's shells, or chased the spent shot with boyish eagerness. 
In this way missiles were sometimes actually returned to the 
enemy before they had cooled. 

The old name of the eminence on which the Powder House 
stands was Quarry Hill, from the quarries opened at its base 
more than a century and a half ago. The region round about 
was, from the earliest- times, known as the Stinted Pasture, and 
the little rivulet near at hand was called Two Penny Brook. 
When the province bought the Old Mill there was but a quar- 
ter of an acre of land belonging to it. After the Old War the 
Powder House continued to be used by the State until the erec- 
tion, more than forty years ago, of the magazine at Cambridge - 
port. It was then sold, and passed into the possession of 
Nathan Tufts, from whom the place is usually known as the 
" Tufts Farm," but it has never lost its designation as the "Old 
Powder-House Farm," and we hope it never will. 

Except that the sides of the edifice are somewhat bulged out, 
which gives it a portly, aldermanic appearance, and that it 
shows a few fissures traversing its outward crust, the Powder 
House is good for another century if for a day. Fortunately 
the iconoclasts have not yet begun to sap its foundations. 
Nothing is wanting but its long arms, for the Old Mill to have 
stepped bodily out of a canvas of Rembrandt or a cartoon of 
Albert Diirer. It carries us in imagination beyond seas to the 

H 



114 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

banks of the Scheldt, — to the land of burgomasters, dikes, 
and guilders. 

There is not the smallest doubt that Washington has often 
dismounted at the Old Mill, or that Knox came here seeking 
daily food for his Crown Point murtherers. Sullivan, in whose 
command it was, watched over it with anxious care. Will not 
the enterprising young city keep its ancient tower 1 ? Once 
destroyed, it can never be replaced ; and, while it may not be 
practicable to preserve lines of intrenchments, such an edifice 
may easily be saved for those who will come after us. The 
battle-fields of the Old World have their monuments. Un- 
numbered pilgrims pay yearly homage before the lion of 
Waterloo. Our Old Mill may fairly claim to illustrate a higher 
principle than brave men fallen in defence of despotic power ; 
and long may it stand to remind the passer-by of the Siege of 
Boston ! 

In furtherance of such a design, we would gladly see a tablet 
placed on the mill which should record its claims to public 
protection by reciting the following passages from its history : — 

" This edifice, a windmill of the early settlers, was erected before 
1720. Sold to the Province in 1747 for a magazine, the seizure, 
September 1, 1774, by General Gage of the Colony's store of powder 
led to the first mustering in arms of the yeomanry of Middlesex, 
September 2, 1774, on Cambridge Common. September 3 the 
avenues into Boston were closed by the cannon of the army and 
fleet. In 1775 it became the magazine of the American army be- 
siesdn^ Boston." 

The monument is already standing. All it asks at our 
hands is protection. We commend to the people of ancient 
Charlestown the good taste and example of the citizens of New- 
port, who have surrounded their old mill with a railing, and 
look upon it as one of the chief attractions of their famous 
resort. The forty rods square and way into the road of Old 
Mallet should remain, with the mill, the property of the 
inhabitants. If this be done, our word for it, the plan will 
early reward its adoption, and prove a precious legacy of care 
well bestowed, as well as a landmark of the ramparts of the 
Revolution. 



THE OLD WAYSIDE MILL. 115 

Sir Walter Scott has said, " Nothing is easier than to make 
a legend." We need not invent, but only repeat one of which 
the Old Mill is the subject. 

A Legend of the Powder House. 

In the day of Mallet, the miller, it was no unusual occurrence 
for a customer to dismount before the farm-house door after 
dark ; so that when, one sombre November evening, the good- 
man sat at his evening meal, he was not surprised to hear a 
horse neigh, and a faint halloo from the rider. 

Going to the door, the miller saw, by the light of the lan- 
tern he held aloft, a youth mounted on a strong beast, whose 
steaming flanks gave evidence that he had been pushed at the 
top of his speed, and whose neck was already stretched wist- 
fully in the direction of the miller's crib. 

Mallet, — when was your miller aught else in song or story 
but a downright jolly fellow, — in cheery tones, bade the lad 
dismount and enter, at the same time calling his son Andre to 
lead the stranger's horse to the stable, and have a care for the 
brace of well-filled bags that were slung across the crupper. 

Once within the house the new-comer seemed to shrink from 
the scrutiny of the miller's wife and daughters, and, notwith- 
standing his evident fatigue, could scarcely be, prevailed upon 
to touch the relics of the evening repast, which the goodwife 
placed before him. He swallowed a few mouthfuls, and then 
withdrew into the darkest corner of the cavernous fireplace, 
where a rousing fire blazed on the hearth, crackling, and dif- 
fusing a generous warmth through the apartment. 

The stranger was a mere stripling, with a face the natural 
pallor of which was heightened by a pair of large, restless black 
eyes, that seemed never to rest on any object at which they 
were directed, but glanced furtively from the "listening fire- 
irons to the spinning-wheel at which Goodwife Mallet was em- 
ployed, and from the rude pictures on the wall back to the 
queen's arm which hung by its hooks above the chimney-piece. 
" Certes," muttered Mallet, under his breath, "this fellow is no 
brigand, I '11 be sworn." 



116 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The habit of those days among the poorer classes was early 
to bed, and soon the miller set the example by taking a greasy 
dip-candle and saying : " Come, wife, Marie, Ivan, to bed ; and 
you, Andre, see that all is secured. Come, lad," — beckoning 
to his guest, — " follow me." 

Leading the way up the rickety stairs, the miller reached 
the garret, and, pointing to the only bed it contained, bade the 
wayfarer share & good night's rest with his son Andre. The 
startled expression of the stranger's face, and the painful flush 
that lingered there, were not observed by the bluff old miller. 
They were plain folk, and used to entertain guests as they 
might. 

The youth entreated that if he might not have a couch to 
himself, he might at least sit by the kitchen fire till morning ; 
but his request was sternly refused by the miller, with marks 
of evident displeasure. "Harkye, lad," he blurted out, "your 
speech is fair, and you do not look as if you would cut our 
throats in the dark, but if ye can't sleep with the miller's son 
for a bedfellow, your highness must e'en couch with the rats at 
the mill, for other place there is none." To his surprise the 
boy caught eagerly at the proposal, and, after no little per- 
suasion, he yielded, and conducted his fastidious visitor out 
into the open air, muttering his disapproval in no stinted 
phrase as he took the well-trod path that led to the mill. 

The old mill loomed large in the obscurity, its scarce dis- 
tinguishable outline seeming a piece fitted into the surrounding 
darkness. The sails, idly flapping in the night wind, gave to 
the whole structure the appearance of some antique, winged 
monster, just stooping for a flight. The boy shivered, and drew 
his roquelaure closer around him. 

Entering the mill, the youth ascended by a ladder to the loft ; 
the miller fastened the oaken door and withdrew. Left alone, 
the strange lad turned to the narrow loophole, through which a 
single star was visible in the heavens, and, taking some object 
from his breast, pressed it to his lips. He then threw himself, 
sobbing, on a heap of empty bags. Silence fell upon the 
old mill. 



THE OLD WAYSIDE MILL. 117 

The slumbers of the lonely occupant were erelong rudely 
disturbed by the sound of voices, among which he distinguished 
that of the miller, who appeared to be engaged in unfastening 
his locks in a manner far too leisurely to satisfy the haste of his 
companions. Another voice, one which seemed to terrify the 
boy by its harsh yet familiar accents, bade the miller despatch 
for a bungling fool. The boy, moved with a sudden impulse, 
drew the ladder by which he had gained the loft up to his 
retreat, and, placing it against the scuttle, ascended yet higher. 

The flash of lights below showed that the men were within, 
as a volley of oaths betrayed the disappointment of the princi- 
pal speaker at finding access cut off to the object of his pursuit. 
" Ho there, Claudine ! " exclaimed this person, " descend, and 
you shall be forgiven this escapade ; come down, I say. Curse 
the girl ! — Miller ! another ladder, and 1 11 bring her down, or 
my name 's not Dick Wynne." 

Another ladder was brought, which the speaker, uttering 
wild threats, mounted, but, not finding his victim as he ex- 
pected at the first stage, he was compelled to climb to that 
above. The fugitive, crouched panting in* a corner, betrayed 
her presence only by her quickened breathing, while the man, 
whose eyes were yet unaccustomed to the darkness, could only 
grope cautiously around the cramped area. 

Finding it impossible longer to elude her pursuer", the girl, 
with a piercing cry for help, attempted to reach the ladder, 
when the man, making a sudden effort to grasp her, missed his 
footing, and fell headlong through the opening. In his descent, 
his hand coming in contact with something, he grasped it 
instinctively, and felt his flight arrested at the moment a yell 
of horror smote upon his ears. " Damnation ! " screamed the 
miller, "let go the cord, or you 're a dead man." 

It was too late. In an instant the old mill, shaking off its 
lethargy, was all astir with life. The ponderous arms were 
already in quick revolution, and the man was caught and 
crushed within the mechanism he had set in motion. The mill 
was stopped ; the helpless sufferer extricated and conveyed to 
the farm-house. He uttered but one word, " Claudine," and 
became insensible. 



118 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The poor Acadian peasant girl was one of those who had 
been separated from their homes by the rigorous policy of their 
conquerors. These victims were parcelled out among the dif- 
ferent towns like so many brutes, and Claudine had fallen into 
the power of a wretch. This man, who wished to degrade the 
pretty French girl to the position of his mistress, had pushed 
his importunities so far that at last the girl had obtained a dis- 
guise, and, watching her opportunity, saddled her master's horse 
and fled. The man, with a warrant and an officer, was, as we 
have seen, close upon her track.. 

At break of day the officer returned from the town with a 
chirurgeon and a clergyman. The examination of the man of 
medicine left no room for hope, and he gave place to the man 
of God. Consciousness returns for a moment to the bruised 
and bleeding Wynne. Powerless to move, his eyes turn to the 
bedside, where stands, in her proper attire, the object of his 
fatal passion, bitterly weeping, and holding a crucifix in her 
hands. The morning sun gilds the old mill with touches a 
Turner could not reproduce. His rays fall aslant the farm- 
house, and penetrate through the little diamond panes within 
the chamber, where a stricken group stand hushed and awe- 
struck in the presence of death. 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 119 



CHAPTEE VI. 

THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 

" Come pass about the bowl to me; 
A health to our distressed king." 

AS you approach Medford by the Old Boston Road, you 
see at your left hand, standing on a rise of ground not 
half a mile out of the village, a mansion so strongly marked 
with the evidences of a decayed magnificence that your atten- 
tion is at once arrested, and you will not proceed without a 
nearer view of an object which has so justly excited your 
interest, or awakened, perhaps, a mere transient curiosity. 

Whatever the motive which leads you to thread the broad 
avenue that leads up to the entrance door, our word for it you 
will not depart with regret that your footsteps have strayed to 
its portal. Built by a West-Indian nabob, inhabited by one 
whose character and history have been for a hundred years a 
puzzle to historians, — a man " full of strange oaths," the very 
prince of egotists, and yet not without claim to our kindly con- 
sideration, — the old house fairly challenges our inquiry. 

Externally the building presents three stories, the upper tier 
of windows being, as is usual in houses of even a much later 
date, smaller than those underneath. Every pane has rattled 
at the boom of the British morning-gun on Bunker Hill ; every 
timber shook with the fierce cannonade which warned the in- 
vaders to their ships. 

The house is of brick, but is on three sides entirely sheathed 
in wood, while the south end stands exposed. The reason 
which prompted the builder to make the west front by far the 
most ornamental does not readily appear ; but certain it is, 
that the mansion, in defiance of our homely maxim, " Put 
your best foot foremost," seems to have turned its back to the 



120 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

lyghway, as if it would ignore what was passing in the outer 
world. 

Sufficient unto himself, no doubt, with his gardens, his 
slaves, and his rich wines, was the old Antigua merchant, Isaac 
Eoyall, who came, in 1737, from his tropical home to establish 
his seat here in ancient Charlestown. He is said to have 
brought with him twenty -seven slaves. In December, 1737, 
he laid before the General Court his petition, as follows, in 
regard to these " chattels " : — 

" Petition of Isaac Boyall, late of Antigua, now of Charlestown, 
in the county of Middlesex, that he removed from Antigua with his 
family, and brought with him, among other things and chattels, a 
parcel of uegroes, designed for his own use and not any of them for 
merchandise. He prays that he may not be taxed with impost." 

The brick quarters which the slaves occupied are situated on 
the south side of the mansion and front upon the court- yard, 
one side of which they enclose. These haA^e remained un- 
changed, and are, we believe, the last visible relics of slavery 
in New England. The deep fireplace where the blacks pre- 
pared their food is still there, and the roll of slaves has cer- 
tainly been called in sight of Bunker Hill, though never on 
its summit. 

At either end of the' building the brick wall, furnished with 
a pair of stout chimneys, rises above the pitched roof. The 
cornice and corners are relieved by ornamental wood-work, 
while the west face is panelled, and further decorated with 
fluted pilasters. On this side, too, the original windows are 
seen. 

The Eoyall House stood in the midst of grounds laid out in 
elegant taste, and embellished with fruit-trees and shrubbery. 
These grounds were separated from the highway by a low brick 
wall, now demolished. The gateway opening upon the grand 
avenue was flanked by wooden posts. Earther to the right 
was the carriage-drive, on either side of which stood massive 
stone gate-posts, as antique in appearance as anything about the 
old mansion. Seventy paces back from the road, along the 
broad gravelled walk, bordered with box, brings you to 
the door. 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 121 

A visitor arriving in a carriage either alighted at the front 
entrance or passed by the broad drive, under the shade of mag- 
nificent old elms, around into the court-yard previously men- 
tioned, and paved with round beach pebbles, through the 
interstices of which the grass grows thickly. Emerging from 
the west entrance-door, the old proprietor mounted the steps 
of the family coach, and rolled away in state to Boston Town- 
House, where, as a member of the Great and General Court, he 
long served his fellow-citizens of Charlestown. The driveway 
has now become a street, to the ruin of its former glory, the 
stately trees. 

Behind the house, as we view it, was an enclosed garden of 
half an acre or more, with walks, fruit, and a summer-house at 
the farther extremity. No doubt this was the favorite resort 
of the family and their guests. 

This summer-house, a veritable curiosity in its way, is placed 
upon an artificial mound, with two terraces, and is reached by 
broad flights of red sandstone steps. It is octagonal in form, 
with a bell-shaped roof, surmounted by a cupola, on which is 
placed a figure of Mercury. At present the statue, with the 
loss of both wings and arms, cannot be said to resemble the 
dashing god. The exterior is highly ornamented with Ionic 
pilasters, and, taken as a whole, is delightfully ruinous. We 
discover that utility led to the elevation of the mound, within 
which was an ice-house, the existence of which is disclosed by 
a trap-door in the floor of the summer-house. An artist drew 
the plan of this little structure, a worthy companion, of that 
formerly existing in Peter Faneuil's grounds in Boston. Doubt- 
less George Erving and Sir William Pepperell came hither to 
pay their court to the royalist's daughters, and greatly we mis- 
take if its dilapidated walls might not whisper of many a 
love-tryst. 

After having rambled through the grounds and examined 
the surroundings of the mansion, we returned to the house, 
prepared to inspect the interior. 

Without lingering in the hall of entrance farther than to 
mark the elaborately carved balusters and the panelled wainscot, 



99 



HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



we passed into the suite of apartments at 'the right hand, the 
reception-rooms proper of the house. These were divided in 
two by an arch, in which folding-doors were concealed ; and 
from floor to ceiling the walls were panelled in wood, the panels 
being of single pieces, some of them a yard in breadth. In the 
rear apartment, and opening to the north, were two alcoves, 
each flanked by fluted pilasters, on which rested an arch en- 
riched with mouldings and carved ornaments. Each recess had 
a window furnished with seats, so inviting for a tete-a-tete, where 
the ladies of the household sat with their needlework ; these 
windows were sealed up in winter. The heavy cornice formed 
an elaborate finish to this truly elegant saloon. 

On the right, as the visitor entered, was a sideboard, which 
old-time hospitality required should be always garnished with 
wines, or a huge bowl of punch. The host first filled himself 
a glass, and drank to his guest, who was then expected to pay 
the same courtesy to the master of the mansion. 'No little of 
Colonel EoyalTs wealth was founded on the traffic in Antigua 
rum, and we doubt not his sideboard was well furnished. In 
those days men drank their pint of Antigua, and carried it off, 
too, with no dread of any enemy but the gout, nor feared to 
present themselves before ladies with the. aroma of good old 
Xeres upon them. But we have fallen upon sadly degenerate, 
weak-headed times, when the young men of to-day cannot make 
a brace of New- Year's calls without an unsteady gait and tell- 
tale tongue. 

The second floor was furnished with four chambers, all open- 
ing on a spacious and airy hall. Of these the northwest room 
only demands special description. It had alcoves similar to 
those already mentioned in the apartment underneath, but 
instead of panels the walls were finished above the wainscot 
with a covering of leather on which were embossed, in gorgeous 
colors, flowers, birds, pagodas, and the concomitants of a Chinese 
paradise. On this side the original windows, with the small 
glass and heavy frames, still remain. 

The family of Royall in this country originated with William 
Eoyall, or Eyal, of North Yarmouth, Maine, who was un- 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 125 

doubtedly the person mentioned by Hazard as being sent over 
as a cooper or cleaver in 1629. His son, Samuel, followed the 
same trade of cooper in Boston as early as 1665-66, living 
with old Samuel Cole, the comfit-maker and keeper of the first 
inn mentioned in the annals of Boston. His father, William 
Royall, had married Hebe Green, daughter of Margaret, former 
wife to Samuel Cole. William, another son of William, 
appears to have settled in Dorchester, where he died, in 1724. 
His son, Isaac Royall, was a soldier in Philip's War, and built 
the second meeting-house in Dorchester. 

Isaac Royall, the builder of our mansion, did not live long 
enough to enjoy his princely estate, dying in 1739, not long 
after its completion. His widow, who survived him eight 
years, died in this house, but was interred from Colonel Oliver's, 
in Dorchester, April 25, 1747. The pair share a common tomb 
in the old burying-place of that ancient town. 

Isaac Eoyall the Second took good care of his patrimony. 
He was the owner of considerable property in Boston and Med- 
ford. Among other estates in the latter town, he was the 
proprietor of the old Admiral Vernon Tavern, which was stand- 
ing in 1743, near the bridge. 

A visitor preceding us by a century and a quarter thus speaks 
of the same house Ave are describing : — 

" On our journey past through Mistick which is a small Town 
of abt a hundred Houses, Pleasantly Situated, near to which is a Fine 
Country Seat belonging to Mr. Isaac Royall being one of the Grand- 
est in N. America." 

When the Revolution begun Colonel Royall fell upon evil 
times. He was appointed a councillor by mandamus, but de- 
clined serving, as Gage says to Lord Dartmouth, from timidity. 
His own account "of his movements after the beginning of 
" these troubles " is such as to confirm the governor's opinion, 
while it exhibits him as a loyalist of a very moderate cast. 

He had prepared to take passage for the West Indies, intend- 
ing to embark from Salem for Antigua, but, having gone into 
Boston the Sunday previous to the battle of Lexington, and 



124 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

remained there until that affair occurred, he was, by the course 
of events, shut up in the town. He sailed for Halifax very 
soon, still intending, as he says, for Antigua, but on the arrival 
of his son-in-law, George Erving, and his daughter, with the 
troops from Boston, he was by them persuaded to sail for Eng- 
land, whither his other son-in-law, Sir William Pepperell, had 
preceded him. 

Upon his arrival in England he waited upon Lord Dartmouth 
and Lord Germaine, but was not received by them. Governor 
Pownall, in the course of a long conversation with Colonel 
Eoyall, expressed a strong regard for the Province in general, 
as being a very fine country and a good sort of people, and, 
while lamenting the difficulties, said that if his advice had pre- 
vailed they would not have happened. Eoyall also exchanged 
visits with Governors Bernard and Hutchinson, but, neglecting 
an invitation to dine with the latter, the acquaintance dropj^ed. 

Colonel Eoyall,' after the loss of some of his nearest relatives 
and of his own health, begged earnestly to be allowed to return 
" home " to Medford, and to be relieved from the acts which 
had been passed affecting the absentees. The estate had, how- 
ever, been taken out of the hands of his agent, Dr. Tufts, in 

1788, under the Act of Confiscation. 

In Colonel Eoyall's plea to be permitted to return home, in 

1789, half ludicrous, half pathetic, he declares he was ever a 
true friend of the Province, and expresses the wish to marry 
again in his own country, where, having already had one good 
wife, he was in hopes to get another, and in some degree repair 
his loss. Penelope Eoyall, sister of Isaac, was married to 
Colonel Henry Vassall of Cambridge. 

Peace be with the absconding royalist for an inoffensive, 
well-meaning, but shockingly timid old tory ! He would fain 
have lived in amity with all men and with "his king too, but 
the crisis engulfed him even as his valor forsook him. His 
fears counselled him to run, and he obeyed. But he is not for- 
gotten. His large-hearted benevolence showed itself in many 
bequests to that country to which he was alien only in name. 
The Eoyall Professorship of Law at Harvard was founded by 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 125 

his bounty. He has a town (Eoyalston) in Massachusetts 
named for him, and is remembered with affection in the place 
of his former abode. 

After inspecting the kitchen, with its monstrous brick oven 
still in perfect repair, its iron chimney-back, with the Eoyall 
arms impressed upon it, we inquired of the lady who had kindly 
attended us if she had ever been disturbed by strange visions 
or frightful dreams. She looked somewhat perplexed at the 
question, but replied in the negative. " They were all good 
people, you know, who dwelt here in bygone times," she said. 

When the yeomen began pouring into the environs of Boston, 
encircling it' with a belt of steel, the New Hampshire levies 
pitched their tents in Medford. They found the Eoyall man- 
sion in the occupancy of Madam Eoyall and her accomplished 
daughters, who willingly received Colonel John Stark into the 
house as a safeguard against insult or any invasion of the estate 
the soldiery might attempt. A few rooms were set apart for 
the use of the bluff old ranger, and he, on his part, treated the 
family with considerate respect. Stark's wife afterwards fol- 
lowed him to camp, and when Dorchester Heights were occu- 
pied was by him directed to mount on horseback and watch 
the passage of his detachment over to West Boston. If his 
landing was opposed, she was to ride into the country and 
spread the alarm. These were the men and women of 1776. 

John Stark was formed by nature for a leader. Though the 
reins of discipline chafed his impetuous spirit, few men pos- 
sessed in a greater degree the confidence of his soldiers. The 
very hairs of his head seem bristling for the fray. A counte- 
nance strongly marked, high cheek-bones, eyes keen and thought- 
ful, nose prominent, — in short, the aspect of an eagle of his 
own mountains, with- a soul as vcid of fear. He was at times 
somewhat " splenetive and rash." While stationed here he one 
day sent a file of his men to arrest and bring to camp a civilian 
accused of some extortion towards his men. Such acts, with- 
out the knowledge of his general, were sure to bring reproof 
upon Stark, which he received with tolerable grace. But he 
was always ready to render ample satisfaction for a wrong. The 



126 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

election for colonel of the New Hampshire regiment was held 
in the public hall of Billings's tavern in Medforcl, afterwards 
called the New Hampshire Hall. It was a hand vote, and 
some, they say, held up both hands for John Stark. 

• In the fall of 1776 a small party of the British came up the 
lake before Ticonderoga to take soundings of the depth of 
water. From the prospect of attack Gates summoned a council 
of war. There were no officers who had been in actual service 
except Gates and Stark. Gates took Stark aside, and the fol- 
lowing dialogue ensued : — 

Gates. What do you think of it, John 1 
Stark. I think if they come we must fight them. 
Gates. Psho, John ! Tell me what your opinion is, seriously. 
Stark My opinion is, that they will not lire a shot against this 
place this season, but whoever is here next must look out. 

Stark and Gates were very intimate; they addressed each 
other familiarly by their given names. The events justified 
Stark's sagacity. 

It is also related that at the memorable council of war where 
the movement to Trenton was decided upon, Stark, who came 
in late, said to Washington, "Your men have long been accus- 
tomed to place dependence upon spades, pickaxes, and hoes for 
safety, but if you ever mean to establish the independence of 
the United States, you must teach them to put confidence in 
their fire-arms." Washington answered, "That is what we 
have agreed upon ; we are to march to-morrow to the attack of 
Trenton ; you are to take command of the right wing of the 
advanced guard, and General Greene the left." Stark observed 
he could not have been better suited. It is noticeable that 
several officers attached to the brigade on Winter Hill served in 
this action, namely, Sullivan, Stark, Scammell, and Wilkinson. 

One of Washington's most trusted officers thus wrote to a 
friend in Boston of the battle of Bennington : — 

" The news of the victory at the northward, under General Stark, 
must give you singular satisfaction; indeed, it was a most noble 
stroke for the oldest troops, but the achievement by militia doubly 
enhances the value of the action. America will ever be free if all 
her sons exert themselves equally." 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 127 

This battle, like that of Trenton, was an act of inspiration. 
We cannot, at this distance of time, appreciate its electric 
effect upon the public mind, then sunk in despondency by the 
fall of Ticonderoga, and the rapid and unchecked advance of 
Burgoyne. It was generally believed that Boston was the 
British general's destination. Great alarm prevailed in conse- 
quence, and many families removed from the town. The news 
of Bennington, therefore, was received with great joy. At 
sundown about one hundred of the first gentlemen of the town, 
with all the strangers then in Boston, met at the Bunch of 
Grapes in State Street, where good liquors and a side table 
were provided. In the street were two brass field-pieces with 
a detachment of Colonel Craft's regiment. In the balcony of 
the Old State House all the musicians of Henry Jackson's regi- 
ment were assembled, with their fifes and drums. The ball 
was opened by the discharge of thirteen cannon, and at every 
toast three guns were fired, followed by a flight of rockets. 
About nine o'clock two barrels of grog were brought into the 
street for the people that had collected there. The whole affair 
was conducted with the greatest propriety, and by ten o'clock 
every man was at his home. 

The effect on enlistments was equally happy. In the back 
parts of the State the militia turned out to a man. The best 
farmers went into the ranks, and Massachusetts soon enrolled 
the finest body of militia that had taken the field. The sea- 
ports were more backward. The towns that had not secured 
their quotas for the continental army were giving £100, lawful 
money, bounty for men. Some towns gave as much as five 
hundred dollars for each man enlisted. 

Captain Barns, who brought the news of the battle of Ben- 
nington to Boston, related that, " after the first action, General 
Stark ordered a hogshead of rum for the refreshment of the 
militia ; but so eager were they to attack the enemy, upon be- 
ing reinforced, that they tarried not to taste of it, but rushed 
on the enemy with an ardor perhaps unparalleled." 

Stark sent to Boston not long after the battle the trophies, 
presented to the State, now placed in the Senate Chamber. 



128 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The drum is one of several captured on the field, while the 
sword, carried by one of Biedesel's dragoons, required no pygmy 
to wield it ; in fact, the hat and sword of a German dragoon 
were as heavy as the whole equipment of a British soldier. 

There are other memorials of the battles of Bennington and 
of Saratoga preserved in Boston. The original orders of Bur- 
goyne to Baum were deposited with the Massachusetts Histori- 
cal Society by General Lincoln, while the capitulation of Sara- 
toga is in the Public Library. It is not a little remarkable, 
too, that the original draft of the surrender of Cornwallis was 
found among the papers of General Knox, now in the archives 
of the Historic Genealogical Society. All these are memorials 
of great events, and are of inestimable value. What is really 
noticeable about the battle of Bennington is, that Baum, find- 
ing himself surrounded, had strongly intrenched himself. His 
works were attacked and carried by raw militia, of whom 
Baum took little note because they were in their shirt-sleeves. 
He held his adversaries cheaply and paid dearly for his confi- 
dence. Of Stark he doubtless thought as one 

' ' That never set a squadron in the field, 
Nor the division of a battle knows 
More than a spinster." 

The Bennington prisoners arrived at Boston on Friday, Sep- 
tember 5, 1777, and were confined on board guard-ships in* 
the harbor. Some of the officers were permitted to quarter 
in farm-houses along the route, where they soon had the 
melancholy pleasure of welcoming their brethren of the main 
army. 

Of the Hessians confined on board the guard-ships, ten 
made their escape on the night of the 26th of October, in a 
most daring manner. Having, through the connivance of their 
friends outside, obtained a boat, in which arms were provided, 
they boarded the sloop Julia off the Hardings, took possession 
of her, and bore away for the southward, expecting, no doubt, 
to fall in with some of the enemy's vessels of war in Long 
Island Sound. 

Some of the guns captured at Bennington by Stark fell 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 129 

again into British possession at the surrender of Detroit. The 
inscriptions were read with much curiosity by the captors, who 
observed that they would now add a line to the history. The 
British officer of the day directed the evening salutes to be fired 
from them. When Stark heard of the loss of his guns he was 
much incensed. These pieces again became American at the 
capture of Fort George. Two of the lightest metal were pre- 
sented by Congress to the State of Vermont. 

In 1819 Stark was still living, the last survivor of the 
American generals of the Bevolution. His recollections were 
then more distinct in relation to the events of the Old French 
War than of that for independence. Bunker Hill, Trenton, 
and Bennington should be inscribed upon his tomb. 

Not long after his arrival at the camp General Lee took up 
his quarters in the Eoyall mansion, whose echoing corridors 
suggested to his fancy the name of Hobgoblin Hall. But 
Washington, as elsewhere related, caused him to remove to a 
point nearer his command. After Lee, Sullivan, attracted no 
doubt by the superior comforts of the old country-seat, unwa- 
rily fell into the same error. He, too, was remanded to his 
brigade by the chief, who knew the impulsive Sullivan would 
not readily forgive himself if anything befell the left wing 
of the army in his absence. In these two cases Washington 
exhibited his adhesion to the maxim that a general should 
sleep among his troops. 

The Eoyall mansion came, in 1810, into the possession of 
Jacob Tidd, in whose family it remained half a century, until 
its identity with the old royalist had become merged in the new 
proprietor. It has been subsequently owned by George L. 
Barr and by George C. Nichols, who at present occupies it. 
The Tidd House is the name by which it is now known, and 
all old citizens have a presentiment that it will not much longer 
retain a foothold among its modern neighbors. The surveyor 
has appeared on the scene with compass and level. Only one 
of the granite gate-posts remains in the driveway, while the 
stumps of the once splendid elms, planted by Boyall, lie scat- 
tered about. 



130 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Nothing goes to our heart more than to see one of these 
gigantic old trees, which it has cost a century to grow, struck 
down in an hour ; but when whole ranks of them are swept 
away, how quickly the scene changes from picturesque beauty 
to insignificance ! At the forks of every road leading into their 
villa es the old settlers were wont to plant an elm, where 
weary travellers and footsore beasts might, in time, gather under 
its spreading branches, sheltered from the burning rays of the 
noonday sun. In the market-place, too, they dug their wells, 
but planted the tree beside. Many of these yet remain; and if 
in any one thing our "New England towns may claim pre-emi- 
nence, it is in the beauty of these trees, — the admiration of every 
beholder, the gigantic fans that cool and purify the air around 
our habitations. Dickens, no mean observer, said our country- 
houses, in their spruce tidiness, their white paint, and green 
blinds, looked like houses built of cards, which a breath might 
blow away, so fragile and unsubstantial did they appear. 
Eeader, if you could stand upon one of those bluffs that rise 
out of our Western prairies, like headlands out of the ocean, 
and, after looking down upon the town at your feet, wellnigh 
treeless and blistering in the sun, could then descend into the 
brown and dusty streets, and note the care bestowed upon the 
growth of a few puny poplars or maples, you would come back 
to your New England home, all glorious in its luxuriance and 
wealth of every form of forest beauty, prepared to make the 
destruction of one of these ancestral elms a penal offence. 

" God the first garden made, and the first city Cain ! " 

Medford possesses other elements of attraction to the anti- 
quary besides its old houses. Until Maiden Bridge was built 
the great tide of travel north and east passed through the town. 
The visitor now finds it a very staid, quiet sort of place. Travel 
has so changed both its mode and its channels that we can 
form little idea of a country highway even fifty years ago. 
Travellers of every condition then pursued their route by the 
public roads : the wealthy or well-to-do generally in chaises 
or phaetons ; the professional gentleman on horseback, — a cus- 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 131 

torn so graceful and health -giving that we should not be sorry 
to see its revival in New England. Whole families — men, 
women, and even little children — passed and repassed on foot, 
carrying with them their scanty effects. Then there was the 
mail-coach, — a puffy, groaning vehicle, bulging out at the top 
and sides, and hung on thoroughbraces. On a rough road it 
lurched like a Chinese junk in a heavy sea-way, and the pas- 
sengers not unfrequently provided themselves with brandy, 
lemons, and other palliatives against sea-sickness. Besides these 
well-marked constituents of the stream, a nondescript element 
of stragglers drifted along the edges of the current until caught 
in some eddy which cast them up at the tavern door. 

The public inn then had a relative importance to the world 
of wayfarers that is not now represented by any brown-stone or 
marble front hotel. The distances from Boston in every direc- 
tion were reckoned to the taverns. The landlord was a man of 
note. He was the village newsmonger, oracle, and referee in 
all disputes. When he had a full house his guests were dis- 
tributed about the floors, and the dining-table commanded a 
premium. The charge for meals or for baiting a horse was 
a quarter of a dollar. If the world moved then more slowly 
than it now does, it was not the less content. 

The tavern was also the political centre where caucuses were 
held and the state of the country discussed. It was ofttimes 
there town-meetings were convened, and in war times it was 
the recruiting rendezvous. Proclamations, notices of that mul- 
tifarious character pertaining to the interior economy of the 
village, from the reward for the apprehension of a thief to the 
loss of a favorite brooch, were affixed to the bar-room walls. 
The smell of old Santa Cruz or other strong waters saluted the 
nostrils of all who entered the public room, and yet there was 
call for neither fumigation nor exorcism. The mail-coach, 
which only stopped to change horses, occupied forty-eight hours 
in going over tin's route from Boston to Portland. Concord 
coaches succeeded the old English pattern, and still traverse 
here and there a few byways into which the railway disdains 
to turn aside. 



132 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The mail-coach, too, bore its fixed relation to the population 
along the line. It marked the time of day for the laborers in 
the fields, who leaned on hoe or scythe until it was lost to 
view. The plough stopped in the furrow, the smith rested his 
sledge on his anvil, while the faces of young and old were glued 
to the window-panes as this moving piece of the far-away 
metropolis rolled along. Entering the town, the driver cracked 
his whip, his leaders sprang out into a brisker gait, and the 
lumbering vehicle drew up with a flourish beside the tavern 
door. 

The first of the Medford ordinaries, so far as known, goes 
back to about 1690, Nathaniel Pierce being mine host. The 
General Court licensed him to sell not less than a gallon of 
liquor at a time to one person, and prohibited the sale of 
smaller quantities by retail. The house was at one time owned 
by Colonel Royall, being known at different times by the name 
of the "Boyal Oak" and "Admiral Vernon." In 1775 it 
became the Revolutionary headquarters, kept by Eoger Billings, 
and was long afterward the principal tavern in the town. The 
house stood on the corner of Main and Union Streets, and was 
destroyed by fire in 1850. 

The old Fountain Tavern, so called from its sign representing 
a fountain pouring forth punch, is still standing on the old 
Salem road, at the corner of Fountain Street. Brooks, in his 
History of Medford, says it was first called the " Two Palaverers." 
The two large trees in front had each a platform in its branches, 
connected with each other and with the house by wooden 
bridges. In summer these retreats were resorted to by the 
guests for tea-parties or punch-drinking. The house was built 
in 1725, and is extremely unique in appearance. 

The name of. Medford is known in every seaport under the 
sun for its stanch and well-built ships. Of the thousands that 
float the ocean bearing any flag aloft, none sail more proudly 
than those of Curtis or Magoun. This industry, which has 
dated from the time when Englishmen first . set foot on the 
shores of the Mystic, has of late years fallen into decay, but 
once more the familiar sound of the shipwright's beetle is 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 166 

beginning to be heard on its banks. Cradock sent over skilled 
artisans, who at once laid down the keels that have increased so 
prodigiously. Although we are told his men had a vessel of a 
hundred tons on the stocks in 1632, the earlier craft were chiefly 
pinnaces, galleys, and snows, — the latter being rigged some- 
what after the fashion of our barks. No branch of mechani- 
cal skill appears to have developed with such rapidity in New 
England as shipbuilding. The timber, which is now brought 
hundreds of miles to the yards, then grew along the shores. 
We now bring the keel from Virginia, the frame from the Gulf 
States, and the masts from Canada. New England, which does 
not furnish a single product entering into the construction of 
the ship, forges the anchor which holds her to the bottom; 
twists the hemp into shrouds, rigging, and those spiders'-webs 
aloft whose intricacies confound the eye ; spins the cotton which 
hangs from the yards, and weaves the colors that float at the 
mast-head. 

In the public square of Medford is an excellent specimen of 
the architecture of the last century, now occupied as a tavern, 
but originally a dwelling. A few rods distant in a westerly 
direction is still standing, in tolerable repair, the house which 
Governor Brooks inhabited, and at the corner is the stone 
where he was accustomed to mount his horse. A plain granite 
shaft is erected over the remains of this distinguished soldier 
and civilian in the old burial-ground. Behind the governor's 
house, on a rising ground, is one of the early garrison-houses, 
built of brick, and looking none the worse for its long conflict 
with wind and weather. It is owned by Daniel Lawrence, 
beside whose elegant mansion it stands conspicuous, a foil to 
the symmetry and gracefulness of modern art. 

As a soldier Governor Brooks appeared to his greatest ad- 
vantage in the battle of Bemis's Heights, where he was in com- 
mand of the old Eighth, Michael Jackson's regiment. His own 
relation of the incidents of that day to General Sumner is not, 
even now, devoid of interest. 

" On the 7th of October, the. day of the last battle with General 
Burgoyne, General Arnold and several officers dined with General 



134: HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Gates. I was among the company, and well remember that one of 
the dishes was an ox's heart. While at table we heard a firing from 
the advanced picket. The armies were about two miles from each 
other. The firing increasing, we all rose from table ; and General 
Arnold, addressing General Gates, said, ' Shall I go out and see 
what is the matter V General Gates made no reply, but upon being 
pressed, said, ' I am afraid to trust you, Arnold.' To which Arnold 
answered, ' Pray let me go ; I will be careful ; and if our advance 
does not need support, I will promise not to commit you.' Gates 
then told him he might go and see what the firing meant." 

Colonel Brooks repaired to his post, and under the impetuous 
Arnold, who seemed fully imbued on this day with the rage 
militaire, stormed Breyman's Fort, and thus mastered the key 
to the enemy's position. Arnold, once in action, forgot his 
promise to Gates, w T ho vainly endeavored to recall him from 
the field. Had his life been laid down there, his name would 
have been as nmcli revered as it is now contemned by his 
countrymen. 

The object of paramount interest which Medford contains is 
the plantation house of Governor Cradock, or " Mathias Char- 
terparty," as the malcontent Morton styled him. This house is 
the monarch of all those now existing in North America. As we 
trace a family back , generation after generation until we bring 
all collateral branches to one common source in the first colo- 
nist, so we go from one old house to another until we finally 
come to a pause before this patriarch by the sea. It is the 
handiwork of the first planters in the vicinity of Boston, and 
is one of the first, if not the very first, of the brick houses 
erected within the government of John Winthrop. 

Every man, woman, and child in Medford knows the " Old 
Fort," as the older inhabitants love to call it, and will point 
you to the site with visible pride that their pleasant town 
contains so interesting a relic. Turning your back upon the 
village, and your face to the east, a brisk walk of ten minutes 
along the banks of the Mystic, and you are in presence of the 
object of your search. 

A very brief survey establishes the fact that this was one of 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 135 

those houses of refuge scattered through the New England 
settlements, into which the inhabitants might fly for safety 
upon any sudden alarm of danger from the savages. 

The situation was well chosen for security. It has the river 
in front, marshes to the eastward, and a considerable extent of 
level meadow behind it. As it was from this latter quarter 
that an attack was most to be apprehended, greater precautions 
were taken to secure that side. The house itself is placed 
a little above the general level. Standing for a century and a 
half in the midst of an extensive and open field, enclosed by 
palisades, and guarded with gates, a foe could not approach un- 
seen by day, nor find a vantage-ground from which to assail the 
inmates. Here, then, the agents of Matthew Cradock, first 
Governor of the Massachusetts Company in England, built the 
house we are describing. 

In the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, at Bos- 
ton, hangs the charter of " The Governor and Company of the 
Massachusetts Bay in New England," brought over by Win- 
throp in 1630. The great seal of England, a most ponderous 
and convincing symbol of authority, is appended to it. 

It is well known that the settlement at Salem, two years 
earlier, under the leadership of Endicott, was begun by a com- 
mercial company in England, of which Matthew Cradock was 
Governor. In order to secure the emigration of such men as 
AVinthrop, Dudley, Sir R. Saltonstall, Johnson, and others, 
Cradock proposed, in July, 1629, to transfer the government 
from the company in England to the inhabitants here. As he 
was the wealthiest and most influential person in the associa- 
tion, his proposal was acceded to. 

We cannot enter, here, into the political aspects of this 
coup d'etat. It must ever arrest the attention and challenge the 
admiration of the student of American history. In defiance 
of the crown, which had merely organized them into a mer- 
cantile corporation, like the East India Company, with officers 
resident in England, they proceeded to nullify the clear intent 
of their charter by removing the government to America. The 
project was first mouted by Cradock, and secrecy enjoined upon 



13(3 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the members of the company. That he was the avowed author 
of it must be our apology for introducing the incident. This 
circumstance renders Matthew Cradock's name conspicuous in 
the annals of New England. 

Cradock never came to America, but there is little doubt that 
he entertained the purpose of doing so. He sent over, how- 
ever, agents, or " servants," as they were styled, who estab- 
lished the plantation at Mystic Side. He also had houses at 
Ipswich and at Marblehead, for fishery and traffic. 

For a shrewd man of business Cradock seems to have been 
singularly unfortunate in some of his servants. One of these, 
Philip Ratcliff, being convicted " ore tenus of most foul and 
slanderous invectives" against the churches and government, 
was sentenced to be whipped, lose his ears, and be banished the 
plantation. Winthrop was complained of by Dudley because 
he stayed the execution of the sentence of banishment, but 
answered that it was on the score of humanity, as it was winter 
and the man must have perished. Ratcliff afterwards, in con- 
junction with Thomas Morton and Sir Christopher Gardiner, 
procured a petition to the Lords of the Privy Council, before 
whom Cradock was summoned. 

Morton, who was sent away to England for his mad pranks 
and contempt of Puritan authority, wrote as follows of this 
examination : — 

" My Lord Canterbury having with my Lord Privy Seal caused all 
Mr. Cradock's letters to be viewed, and his apology in particular for 
the brethren here, protested against him and Mr. Humfry [another 
of the undertakers] that they were a couple of imposterous knaves, 
so that for all their great friends they departed the council chamber 
in our view with a pair of cold shoulders. 

" As for Ratcliff, he was comforted by their lordships with the 
croppings of Mr. Winthrop's ears, which shows what opinion is held 
among them of King Winthrop with all his inventions and his 
Amsterdam fantastical ordinances, his preachings, marriages, and 
other abusive ceremonies, which do exemplify his detestation of the 
Church of England and the contempt of his majesty's authority and 
wholesome laws which are and will be established here invito, 
Minerva." 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 137 

In the letter to Winthrop which follows, printed in the 
Massachusetts Historical Society's Collections, the old merchant 
complains bitterly of the conduct of another of his agents : — 

" London 21 Febr. 1636. 
" Jno. Joliff writes mee the manner of Mr Mayheues accounts is, 
that what is not sett down is spent ; most extremely I am abused. 
My seruants write they drinke nothing but water & I haue in an 
account lately sent me Red Wyne, Sack & Aqua Yitae in one 
yeere aboue 300 gallons, besides many other intollerable abuses, 10 I 
for tobacco etc. My papers are misselayd but if you call for the 
coppyes of the accounts sent me and examine vppon what ground it 
is made you shall find I doubt all but forged stuffe. 

"Mathewe Cradock." 

Wood, one of the early chroniclers, tells us that Master 
Cradock had a park impaled at Mystic, where his cattle were 
kept until it could be stocked with deer ; and that he also was 
engaged in shipbuilding, a vessel of a ''hundred tunne" having 
been built the previous year (1632). It may be, too, that 
Cradock's artisans built here for Winthrop- the- little " Blessing 
of the Bay," launched upon the Mystic tide July 4, 1631, — an 
event usually located at the governor's farm, at Ten Hills. 

This house, a unique specimen of the architecture of the 
early settlers, must be considered a gem of its kind. It is not 
disguised by modern alterations in any essential feature, but k t 
bears its credentials on its face. Two hundred and sixty odd ' 
New England winters . have searched every cranny of the old 
fortress, whistled down the big chimney-stacks, rattled the win- 
dow-panes in impotent rage, and, departing, certified to us the 
stanch and trusty handiwork of Cradock's English craftsmen. 

Time has dealt gently with this venerable relic. Like a 
veteran of many campaigns, it shows a few honorable scars. 
The roof has swerved a little from its true outline. It has been 
denuded of a chimney, and has parted reluctantly with a dormer- 
window. The loopholes, seen in the front, were long since 
closed ; the race they were to defend against has hardly an 
existence to-day. The windows have been enlarged, with an 



138 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

effect on the ensemble, as Hawthorne says in a similar case, of 
rouging the cheeks of one's grandmother. Hoary with age, it 
is yet no ruin, but a comfortable habitation. 

How many generations of men — and our old house has sel- 
dom if ever been untenanted — have lived and died within 
those walls ! When it was built Charles I. reigned in Old Eng- 
land, and Cromwell had not begun his great career. 'Peter the 
Great was not then born, and the house was waxing in years 
when Frederick the Great appeared on the stage. We seem to 
be speaking of recent events when Louis XVI. suffered by the 
axe of the guillotine, and ^Napoleon's sun rose in splendor, to 
set in obscurity. 

The Indian, who witnessed its slowly ascending walls with 
wonder and' misgiving ; the Englishman, whose axe wakened 
new echoes in the primeval forest ; the colonist native to the 
soil, who battled and died within view, to found a new nation, 
— all have passed away. But here, in this old mansion, is the 
silent evidence of those great epochs of history. 

It is not clear at what time the house was erected, but it has 
usually been fixed in the year 1634, when a large grant of land 
was made to Cradock by the General Court. The bricks are 
said to have been burned near by. There was some attempt at 
ornament, the lower course of the belt being laid with moulded 
bricks so as to form a cornice. The loopholes were for defence. 
The walls were half a yard in thickness. Heavy iron bars 
secured the arched windows at the back, and the entrance-door 
was encased in iron. The fire-proof closets, huge chimney- 
stacks, and massive hewn timbers told of strength and dura- 
bility. A single pane of glass, set in iron, and placed in the 
back wall of the western chimney, overlooked the approach 
from the town. 

•The builders were Englishmen, and, of course, followed their 
English types. They named their towns and villages after the 
sounding nomenclature of Old England; what more natural 
than that they should wish their homes to resemble those they 
had left behind 1 Such a house might have served an inhabi- 
tant of the Scottish border, with its -loopholes, narrow windows, 



THE PLANTATION AT MYSTIC SIDE. 139 

and doors sheathed in iron. Against an Indian foray it was 
impregnable. 

Cradock was about the only man connected with the settle- 
ment in Massachusetts Bay whose means admitted of such a 
house. Both Winthrop and Dudley built of wood, and the 
former rebuked the deputy for what he thought an unreason- 
able expense in finishing his own house. Many brick buildings 
were erected in Boston during the first decade of the settlement, 
but we have found none that can claim such an ancient pedi- 
gree as this of which we are writing. It is far from improbable 
that, having in view a future residence in New England, 
Cradock may have given directions for or prescribed the plan 
of this house, and that it may have been the counterpart of his 
own in St. Swithen's Lane, near London Stone. 

" Then went I forth by London Stone 
Throughout all Can wick Street." 

The plantation, with its green meadows and its stately forest- 
trees, was a manor of which Cradock was lord and master. His 
grant extended a mile into the country from the river-side in 
all places. Though absent, he was considered nominally pres- 
ent, and is constantly alluded to by name in the early records. 
Cradock was a member of the Long Parliament, dying in 1641. 
The euphonious name of Mystic has been supplanted by Med- 
ford, tjie Meadford of Dudley and the rest. 

It is not to be expected that a structure belonging to so re- 
mote a period, for New England, should be without its legend- 
ary lore. It is related that the old fort was at one time 
beleaguered for several days by an Indian war-party, who at 
length retired baffled from the strong walls and death-shots of 
the garrison. As a veracious historian, we are compelled to add 
that we know of no authentic data of such an occurrence. 
Indians were plenty enough in the vicinity, and, though gen- 
erally peaceful, they were regarded with more or less distrust. 
The settlers seldom stirred abroad without their trusty match- 
locks and well-filled bandoleer. We cannot give a better pic- 
ture of the times than by invoking the aid of MacFingal : — 



140 IIISTOKIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

" For once, for fear of Indian beating, 
Our grandsires bore their guns to meeting ; 
Each man equipped ou Sunday morn 
With psalm-book, shot, and powder-horn ; 
And looked in form, as all must grant, 
Like the ancient, true church militant; 
Or fierce, like modern deep divines, 
Who light with quills, like porcupines." 

After standing stoutly up in presence of so many mutations, 
one of the gateways through which the little human stream 
trickled that has inundated all the land in its mighty expan- 
sion, we are told that this house is doomed. It no longer 
accommodates itself to modern ideas, and must fall. The re- 
gret that the Commonwealth ever parted with, even to a noble 
charity, the old mansion-house of the provincial governors was 
by no means trifling or inconsiderate. That error might now 
be retrieved by the purchase of the house of the first governor 
of Massachusetts. Every officer, civil or military, that holds a 
commission by State authority, derives it in a certain sense 
from Matthew Cradock. He made the first move to erect an 
independent community on our shores. This house is his 
monument. It should be allowed to stand where it has stood 
for near two hundred and forty years. Its loopholes should be 
restored, and the whole house set in order and furnished with 
the memorials of its, own time. A custodian might be placed 
there, and the small fee charged for exhibition be used to defray 
the expense. At all events, Medford should see to it this 
ancient structure is preserved to her. 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 141 



CHAPTER VII. 

lee's headquarters and vicinity. 

" Night closed around the conqueror's way, 
And lightnings showed the distant hill, 
Where those who lost that dreadful day 
Stood few and faint, but fearless still." 

DESCENDING into the valley between Winter and Pros- 
pect Hills, any search for traces of the works which existed 
here in 1775 — 76 would be fruitless; every vestige had disap- 
peared fifty years ago. The site of the star fort laid down on the 
map was a little north of Medford Street and east of Walnut 
Street. The structure of the ground shows that there was once 
a considerable elevation here, which commanded the approach 
by the low land between Prospect, Winter, and Ploughed Hills. 

On the little byway now dignified with the name of Syca- 
more Street stands the old farm-house which was the headquar- 
ters for a time of General Charles Lee. Its present occupant is 
Oliver Tufts, whose father, John Tufts, resided there in Eevo- 
lutionary times, and planted with his own hands the beautiful 
elm that now stretches its protecting branches over the old 
homestead. 

When the house was occupied by the mercurial Lee it had 
one of those long pitched roofs descending to a single story at 
the back, and which are still occasionally met with in our in- 
terior New England towns. The elder Tufts altered the exterior 
to what we now see it ; and although the date of the erection 
of the house, which once sheltered so notable an occupant, has 
not remained extant in the family, it evidently belongs to the 
earlier years of the eighteenth century. 

The name and career of Charles Lee are not the least inter- 
esting subjects in our Eevolutionary annals. A mystery, not 



142 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

wholly cleared away, has enshrouded the concluding incidents 
of Lee's connection with the American army.. Whether the 
name of traitor is to accompany his memory to posterity or not, 
there is no question that he was at the beginning of the con- 
test a zealous partisan of the American cause. It is in this light 
we prefer to consider him. 

When Lee came to join the forces assembled around Boston 
he was certainly regarded, in respect to military skill, as the 
foremost man in the army. His experience had been acquired 
on the same fields with the men he was now to oppose, and it 
is evident that neither Gage, Howe, Clinton, nor Burgoyne 
underrated his ability. 

In a " separate and secret despatch " Lord Dartmouth wrote 
to General Gage to have a special eye on Lee, whose presence 
in Boston in the autumn of 1774 was known to his lordship. 
Lord Dartmouth's letter says : — 

" I am told that M r Lee, a major upon half pay with the rank 
of Lieut Colonel, has lately appeared at Boston, that he associates 
only with the enemies of government, that he encourages the dis- 
content of the people by harangues and publications, and even 
advises to arms. This gentleman's general character cannot be un- 
known to you, and therefore it will be very proper that you should 
have attention to his conduct, and take every legal method to pre- 
vent his effecting any of those dangerous purposes he is said to have 
in view." 

General Lee was five feet eight, and of rather slender make, 
but with unlimited powers of endurance, as was fully proved 
in his rapid movements from Boston to New York, and from 
New York to the defence of the Southern seaports. His capa- 
city to resist fatigue was thoroughly tested at Monmouth, the 
only instance recorded where he admitted that he was tired out. 
Lee had visited most of the courts of Europe, and was a good 
linguist. He wrote well, but rather diffusely; and although 
his language is marred by a certain coarseness, it is not con- 
spicuously so when compared with that of his contemporaries 
in the profession of arms. 

" And more than that he can speak French, and therefore he is a traitor." 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 143 

Lee had lived for some time among the Mohawks, who made 
him a. chief, and who, on account of his impetuous temper, 
named him, in their figurative and highly expressive way, 
" Boiling Water." He was more than half Indian in his ex- 
treme carelessness of his personal appearance, of what he ate or 
drank, or where he slept. He had lost two fingers in a duel in 
Italy, — one of many personal encounters in which he was en- 
gaged during his lifetime. Lee was cool, clear-headed in action, 
and possessed true military insight. The following is probably 
an accurate pen-portrait of this extraordinary man : — 

"A tall man, lank and thin, with a huge nose, a satirical mouth, 
and restless eyes, who sat his horse as if he had often ridden at fox- 
hunts in England, and wore his uniform with a cynical disregard of 
common opinion." 

There is a caricature of General Lee by Eushbrooke, which, 
if allowed to resemble the General, as it is claimed it does, 
would fairly establish his title to be regarded as the ugliest of 
men, both in form and feature. It should, however, be con- 
sidered as a caricature and nothing else. 

Mrs. John Adams, who first met General Lee at an evening 
party at Major Mifflin's house in Cambridge, describes him as 
looking like a " careless, hardy veteran," who brought to her 
mind his namesake, Charles XII. "The elegance of his pen 
far exceeds that of his person " says this accomplished lady. 

Lee was very fond of dogs, and was constantly attended by 
one or more ; his favorite being a great shaggy Pomeranian, 
whom Dr. Belknap says resembled a bear more than a harmless 
canine. Spada — that was the dog's name — was constantly at 
his master's heels, and accompanied him in whatever company 
he might happen to be. 

It appears from a letter of John Adams to James Warren, — 
the then President of the Provincial Congress, — which was 
intercepted by the British, that Colonel Warren had no great 
opinion of General Lee, for Mr. Adams tells him he must bear 
with his whimsical manners and his dogs for the sake of his 
military talents. " Love me, love my dog," says Mr. Adams. 



144 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

General Lee used to relate with great gusto an anecdote of 
one of his aides who showed a little trepidation under fire, and 
who expostulated with his general for exposing himself. The 
general told his officer that his Prussian majesty had twenty 
aides killed in one battle. The aide replied that he did not 
think Congress could spare so many. Lee's first aide-de-camp 
was Samuel Griffin, who was succeeded by Colonel William 
Palfrey, the same who afterwards served Washington in a simi- 
lar capacity. 

Lee's slovenliness was the occasion of a rather amusing con- 
tretemps. On one of Washington's journeys to reconnoitre the 
shores of the bay he was accompanied by Lee, who, on arriving 
at the house where they were to dine, went straight to the 
kitchen and demanded something to eat. The cook, taking him 
for a servant, told him she would give him some victuals di- 
rectly, but he must first help her off with the pot, — a request 
with which he readily complied. He was then requested to 
take a bucket and go to the well for water, and was actually 
engaged in drawing it when found by an aide whom Washing- 
ton had despatched in quest of him. The poor girl then heard 
for the first time her assistant addressed by the title of " gen- 
eral." The mug fell from her hands, and, dropping on her 
knees, she began crying for pardon, when Lee, who was ever 
ready to see the impropriety of his own conduct, but never 
willing to change it, gave her a crown, and, turning to the 
aide-de-camp, observed : " You see, young man, the advantage 
of a fine coat ; the man of consequence is indebted to it for 
respect ; neither virtue nor abilities without it will make you 
look like a gentleman." 

It is somewhat remarkable that most of the officers of the 
Revolutionary army who had seen service in that of Great 
Britain, and of whom so much was expected, either left the 
army before the close of the war with damaged reputations or 
in disgrace. Lee and Gates, who stood first in the general 
estimation, suffered a complete loss of favor, while the fame of 
Schuyler and St. Clair endured a partial eclipse. Montgomery 
bravely fell before Quebec. St. Clair married a Boston lady 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 145 

(Phoebe Bayard), a relative of Governor Bowdoin, and during 
the war' placed his daughter in that town to be educated. 

In the memorable retreat through the Jerseys Lee's conduct 
began to be distrusted. He was perhaps willing to see Wash- 
ington, whose life only intervened between himself and the 
supreme command, defeated ; but we need not go back a cen- 
tury to find generals who have been unwilling to support their 
commanders, even when within sound of their cannon. 

Lee had a good private fortune. He was sanguine and lively, 
and a martyr to gout. He was fearless and outspoken, never 
concealing his sentiments from any man, and in every respect 
was the antipodes of a conspirator. Men, indeed, might say 
of him, — 

" Yond' Cassius has a lean and hungry look ; 
He thinks too much ; such men are dangerous." 

By his brother officers he was evidently considered a rival of 
the commander-in-chief, but we find no contemporary evidence 
that he was looked upon as a traitor until the day of Mon- 
mouth. The present generation, however, much wiser, has de- 
creed him faithless upon the evidence of a manuscript said to 
be in Lee's handwriting, and purporting to be a plan for sub- 
jugating the States. This precious document is without date 
or signature, but is indorsed by another hand, " Mr. Lee's plan 
— 29th March, 1777." At this time the General was a prisoner 
in New York. The writing, which bears an extraordinary re- 
semblance to that of General Lee, is relied upon mainly to 
convict him of treason. 

The so-called proofs of the treachery of Lee have been skil- 
fully put together by George H. Moore, but they contain other 
fatal objections besides the want of a signature to the " plan." 
Proof is adduced to show that Lee was not a general, and at the 
same time he is accredited with having induced General Howe 
to adopt his " plan " and abandon one carefully matured by his 
brother and himself, as early as April 2, or four days after the 
date indorsed on the " plan." Moreover, a motive for Lee's 
defection is not supplied. He did not want money, nor sell 
himself, like Arnold, for a price. His fate, which at one time had 
7 j 



140 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

trembled in the balance, — the king had ordered him sent home 
to he tried as a deserter, — was practically decided by Washing- 
ton's firmness long before the date of the " plan." There is no 
evidence to show he ever received the least emolument from the 
British government. Lee rejoined his flag, and his conduct at 
Monmouth appears more like vacillation than treachery ; for it 
will hardly be doubted that,' had he so intended, he might easily 
have betrayed his troops into the hands of Sir Henry Clinton. 
If opportunity was what he sought to give effect to his treason, 
it must be looked for elsewhere than in this campaign, which 
lie had opposed with all his might, and executed, so far as in 
him lay, with languor and reluctance. We can conclude Lee 
erratic, wayward, ambitious beyond his abilities, devoured by 
egotism, but not a traitor ; or if one, he was the most disinter- 
ested that the pages of history have recorded. 

A British officer who knew Lee well gives this account of 
his capture : — 

" He was taken by a party of ours, under Colonel Harcourt, who 
surrounded the house in which this arch-traitor was residing. Lee 
behaved as cowardly in this transaction as he had dishonorably in 
every other. After firing one or two shots from the house, he came 
out and entreated our troops to spare his life. Had he behaved with 
proper spirit T should have pitied him, and wished that his energies 
had been exerted in a better caused I could hardly refrain from tears 
when I first saw him, and thought of the miserable fate in which his 
obstinacy had involved him. He says he has been mistaken in 
three things : 1st, That the New England men would fight ; 2d, 
That America was unanimous ; and 3d, That she could afford two 
men for our one." 

Opposed to this narration is that of Major (afterwards Gen- 
eral) Wilkinson, who was with the General at the moment of 
his capture, but who made his escape. He was the bearer of a 
letter from General Gates, to which Lee was penning a reply, 
and saw from the window the approach of the British dragoons. 
He says : — 

" Startled at this unexpected spectacle, I exclaimed, i Here, sir, 
are the British cavalry ! ' ' Where ? ■ replied the General, who had 
signed his letter in the instant. 'Around the house'; for they had 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 147 

opened files and encompassed the building. General Lee appeared 
alarmed, yet collected, and his second observation marked his self- 
possession : ' Where is the guard ? Damn the guard, why don't they 
fire ? ' and after a momentary pause, he turned to me and said, ' Do, 
sir, see what has become of the guard.' The women of the house at 
this moment entered the room, and proposed to him to conceal him- 
self in a bed, which he rejected with evident disgust." 

The exact language used by Washington in the hurried alter- 
cation with Lee at Monmouth has been a matter of much curi- 
osity. The officers who overheard this celebrated colloquy 
exhibited at the trial a remarkable forgetfulness on this point. 
They agree, however, that His Excellency addressed his lieu- 
tenant " with much warmth" the conventional expression for 
strong language. Lafayette, who was both on the field and at 
the trial, is accredited with having related to Governor Tomp- 
kins, in 1824, that Washington called Lee "a damned pol- 
troon." "This," said Lafayette, "was the only time I ever 
heard Washington swear." * 

After the battle Lee certainly wrote two very impudent and 
characteristic letters to the commander-in-chief. His subse- 
quent trial, equalled only in interest in our military annals by 
that of Andre, failed to fix any treasonable design on the gen- 
eral, though it punished his insubordination by a year's suspen- 
sion from command. His military peers evidently considered 
him unfit to command in conjunction with Washington. 

Lee's encounter with the beautiful Miss Franks of Phila- 
delphia forms a humorous episode. The lady, who had been 
one of the bright stars of Sir William Howe's entertainment 
of the Mischianza, and was celebrated for her keen wit, had 
asserted that General Lee wore green breeches patched with 
leather. The General met the allegation by sending tr^e unmen- 
tionables in question to the lady, accompanied by a letter, which 
Miss Franks received in very bad part. 

The will of General Lee contains this singular request : — 

" I desire most earnestly that I may not be buried in any church 
or churchyard, or within a mile of any Presbyterian or Anabaptist 

* Note to Custis'.s Recollections, p. 218. 



148 HISTORIC FIELDS AXD MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

meeting-house; for since I have resided in this country I have kept 
so much bad company when living that I do not choose, to continue 
it when dead." 

General Lee died at an obscure inn (the sign of the Conestoga 
Wagon, in Market Street. Philadelphia), October 2, 1782. The 
last words he distinctly articulated were : " Stand by me, my 
brave grenadiers." 

Prospect Hill, second in the line of investment, had formerly 
two eminences, both of which were strongly fortified. The 
citadel, defended by outworks, was on the most easterly sum- 
mit, and covered with its lire the road coming from Charles- 
town, which winds around its base, Cobble Hill (McLean 
Asylum), and the low ground towards Mount Benedict. Both 
eminences were connected by a rampart and ditch, which, after 
being carried the whole length of the summit, were continued 
along the lower plateau of the hill in a northerly direction, till 
they terminated in a strong redoubt situated very near the pres- 
ent High School. On the Cambridge side the works joined 
Port No. 3 by redoubts placed on each side of the road from 
Charlestown. 

It was here Putnam took his stand after the retreat from 
Bunker Hill, and the next day found him busy intrenching 
himself in full view of the late battle-field. Putnam was, per- 
haps, the only general officer then willing to take and hold so 
advanced a position. He says he halted here without orders 
from anybody : it was expected the British would follow up 
their success, and lie placed himself resolutely in their path. 

A foreign officer of distinction, who examined the works on 
Prospect Hill five years after the events of the siege, says of 
them : — 

" All these intrenchments seemed to me to be executed with intel- 
ligence ; nor was I surprised that the English respected them during 
the whole winter of 1776."' 

Xearly fifty years afterwards a visitor thus records his obser- 
vations of the same lines : — 

•• The forts on these hills were destroyed only a few years ago, but 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 149 

their size can be distinctly seen. On the southern eminence the 
fort is still entire, and the southwest face of the hill is divided into 
several platforms, of which I cannot exactly understand the use. 
There are also evident marks of the dwellings of the soldiers. The 
extensive view from this hill, the walk on the ancient ramparts, and 
the site of the various stations occupied by the American army, will 
render this hill at a future period a favorite resort." 

After the arrival of General Washington the army was regu- 
larly brigaded, and General Greene was assigned, under the 
orders of Lee, to the command at Prospect Hill. He accord- 
ingly took up his quarters there on the 26th of July, with 
Sullivan on his left at Winter Hill, Patterson at his feet in 
No. 3, and Heath on his right. Greene had with him his own 
Ehode-Islanders that had been encamped at Jamaica Plain, and 
the regiments of Whitcomb, Gardner, Brewer, and Little, — a 
fluctuating garrison of from three to four thousand men. The 
leader was the right man in the right place. 

Nathaniel Greene is one of the grandest figures of the Eevo- 
lution. He is known to us as the man whom Washington 
deemed most worthy to be his lieutenant, and how he vindi- 
cated that confidence the pages of history relate. It is said he 
was the only general officer who testified his gratification at 
the appointment of Washington by presenting an address from 
himself and his officers to the General upon his arrival at 
Cambridge, — a circumstance not likely to escape the memory 
of the commander-in-chief. At his decease, which occurred in 
1786, Congress voted to raise a monument to his memory. 
It was never erected, and we are left to reflect 

" How nations slowly wise and meanly just, 
To buried merit raise the tardy bust." 

General Knox, the bosom friend of Greene, said to a dis- 
tinguished son of Carolina : — 

" His knowledge is intuitive. He came to us the rawest and most 
untutored being I ever met with, but in less than twelve months he 
was equal in military knowledge to any general officer in the army, 
and very superior to most of them." 



150 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. . 

His ability as commissary-general of the army is well known, 
as is the fact that he would not retain the office unless per- 
mitted to command in the field. On relieving General Gates 
after the disastrous battle of Camden, Greene sat up the whole 
night with General Polk of Gates's commissariat, investigating 
the resources of the country ; and, as was stated by that officer, 
Greene better understood what those resources were on the fol- 
lowing morning than Gates had done in the whole period of 
his command. His treatment of General Gates on this trying 
occasion was remarkable for delicacy and magnanimity. 

Greene was seen, in 1774, in a coat and hat of the Quaker 
fashion, attentively watching the exercises of the British troops 
on Boston Common. Perhaps Knox, whose shop in Cornhill 
he frequented for certain treatises on the art of war, was his 
companion. Such was the primary school in which these two 
great soldiers were formed. 

When Greene was selected by the commander-in-chief to 
command the Southern army, he urged in the strongest terms 
the superior qualifications of Knox for that position. With his 
usual modesty, the Quaker General said : " Knox is the man for 
that difficult undertaking; all obstacles vanish before him ; his 
resources are infinite." Washington, in admitting the truth 
of all Greene had advanced, replied, in effect, that these were 
the very reasons that impelled him to retain Knox near his 
person. 

It was General Greene's fortune to preside over the board of 
officers at Tappan which condemned the chivalric but ill-starred 
Andre/ That board was composed of the most distinguished 
men of the army. Among them all, we will venture to say, no 
heart was wrung more acutely by the inexorable necessity for 
the vindication of military law than was that of the president. 
Alexander Hamilton said, near the close of the war, while 
opposing reprisals for the death of Captain Huddy : " The death 
of Andre could not have been dispensed with ; but it must still 
be viewed as an act of rigid justice." 

General Greene retired from the army in very embarrassed 
circumstances. Like the other general officers, he had received 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 151 

no equivalent for the sums he was compelled to disburse for his 
support while in the field. These officers were obliged to apply- 
to Congress for " relief," such being then, as now, the legal 
phraseology of an application of a creditor when government 
is the debtor. Greene met with losses at the South which 
hurt him. He turned to the soil; but the season was un- 
kind, and his first crop was a failure. Congress voted him 
military trophies, but these did not afford him the means of 
living. 

It is pleasant to turn from the contemplation of the neglect 
which Greene experienced as a general to examine the inner 
characteristics of the man. These cannot better be illustrated 
than by the following extracts from a letter written by him in 
the autumn of 1781, from his camp on the High Hills of Santeo. 
Henry Jackson, of whom the General speaks, was the burly, 
good-natured colonel of the 16th, sometimes called the Boston 
Regiment. 

" We have fought frequently and bled freely, and little glory comes 
to our share. Our force has been so small that nothing capital could 
be effected, and our operations have been conducted under every dis- 
advantage that could embarrass either a general or an army 

" How is my old friend Colonel Jackson ? Is he as fat as ever, and 
can he still eat down a plate of fish that he can't see over ? God 
bless his fat soul with good health and good spirits to the end of the 
war, that we may all have a happy meeting in the North." 

One who had frequent opportunities of observing the General 
has admirably painted his portrait. Fortunately for us, beards 
were not worn at the Revolution, so that we are enabled to 
trace the lineaments of celebrated public characters of that time 
with a degree of satisfaction that will hardly reward the future 
biographers of the men of the present day. 

" Major-General Greene in person was rather corpulent, and above 
the common size. His complexion was fair and florid, his counte- 
nance serene and mild, indicating a goodness which seemed to soften 
and shade the fire and greatness of its expression. His health was 
delicate, but preserved by temperance and regularity." 



152 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

♦ 
" On martial ground the school of heroes taught, 
He studied battles where campaigns were fought; 
By valor led, he traced each scene of fame, 
Where war had left' no spot without a name. 
Great by resolve, yet by example warned, 
Himself the model of his glory formed." 

General Greene's wife (Catharine Littlefield) was every way 
worthy of her distinguished husband. Her conversation and 
manner were fascinating and vivacious. It is noteworthy that 
Eli Whitney conceived the idea of his wonderful machine while 
under Mrs. Greene's roof at Mulberry Grove, Georgia, in 1792. 
Whitney, then a poor law-student, was protected by Mrs. 
Greene, who provided him an apartment, where he labored and 
produced his cotton-gin. 

The high elevation of Prospect Hill exposes it on all sides to 
the chill wintry winds. Even now a residence there has its 
drawbacks, in spite of the charming panorama constantly un- 
folded to the eyes of the residents. What, then, was it during 
the winter of '75 —'76, when the ground was held by men who 
slept in barracks rudely constructed of boards, through the crev- 
ices- of which the snow drifted until it sometimes covered their 
sleeping forms 1 Greene wrote to his neighbor, Sullivan, the 
last of September, that his fingers were so benumbed he could 
scarcely hold his pen. The General occupied a hut in the rear 
of his encampment, where he was visited by his wife shortly 
after he assumed the command on Prospect Hill. 

As what we desire to give the reader is as accurate a view as 
possible of the Continental camps during the period we are 
considering, we cannot do better than to exhibit their resources, 
and especially how they were provided with artillery to defend 
such extensive lines. In so far as such testimony is attainable, 
the evidence of the actors themselves or of eyewitnesses is 
preferred. 

Dr. Thacher, who was a surgeon's mate in Asa WhitcOmb's 
regiment in barracks on Prospect Hill, in 1775, says : ■ — 

" Before our privateers had fortunately captured some prizes with 
cannon and other ordnance, our army before Boston had, I believe, 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 



153 



only four * small brass cannon and a few old honey-comb iron pieces 
with their trunnions broken off ; and these were ingeniously bedded 
in timbers in the same manner as stocking a musket. These 
machines were exceedingly unwieldy and inconvenient, requiring 
much skill to elevate and depress them." 




CARRIAGE FOR CANNON WITHOUT TRUNNIONS, USED BEFORE BOSTON. 

As early as January, 1775, four brass pieces, two seven-inch 
mortars, and an unknown number of battering cannon, were 
in possession of the provincial committees. Besides these, oth- 
ers are obscurely hinted at without mentioning the number. 
Worcester and Concord were selected as the places of deposit 
for all the artillery and munitions of war. Even as far back as 
November, 1774, the committees had begun to purchase heavy 
cannon, which could be found in all the seaports from Boston 
to Falmouth. Many of these were ship's guns. Others had 
been purchased to defend the ports during the frequent wars 
with France ; and not a few had come from the fortifications of 
Louisburg and Annapolis Royal. It appears that the Revolu- 
tionary executive had voted to equip a park of sixteen field- 
pieces, in which those brought out of Boston were to be in- 
cluded. This will serve to show that, long before Lexington, 
the Americans were earnestly preparing for war, and that 
although the artillery in their hands was generally of light 
calibre, they were by no means as defenceless as has been 
supposed. The sixteen field-pieces were, in February, voted to 
be distributed among the seven regiments of militia, in the pro- 

* This was an underestimate. 
7* 



154 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

portion of two to each, and two to the Boston company, lately 
Paddock's, it being the intention to have an artillery company 
in each regiment of minnte-men. In March eight field-pieces 
and two brass mortars, with their ammunition, were ordered to 
be deposited at Leicester. 

At Concord, on the 19th of April, the British disabled three 
iron 24-pounders by knocking off the trunnions. These were 
too heavy to remove as readily as had been done in the case 
of the lighter pieces, but Yankee ingenuity made the guns ser- 
viceable. Dr. Preserved Clap invented the carriage which is 
described by Thacher, and in our drawing made by an officer 
of artillery present at the siege. There were also field-pieces 
concealed at Newburyport, and cannon at Maiden, Watertown, 
and Marlborough. Four light brass pieces (3-pounders), two 
of which had belonged to Paddock's Artillery, were, in the 
early days of the blockade, brought out of Boston under the 
very noses of the British officers. 

Two days after the battle of Lexington the Provincials began 
to collect their warlike material, and couriers were despatched 
to Gridley, at Stoughton, and to David Mason,* then upon 
furlough at Salem. Mason was ordered to provide the neces- 
sary implements for eight 3- and three 6-pounders. 

On the 29th of April the . Committee of Safety reported 
to the Provincial Congress that there were in Cambridge six 
3-pounders complete, with ammunition, and one 6-pounder. 
In Watertown there were sixteen pieces of artillery of differ- 
ent sizes. The Committee say : — 

" The said 6-pounder and sixteen pieces of artillery will be taken 
out of the way; and the first-mentioned six pieces will be used in a 
proper way of defence." f 

Measures were taken on the same day to organize two com- 
panies of artillery, Captain Joseph Foster being appointed to 
the command of one and Captain William Lee of Marblehead 
to the other. This appears to be the first step taken towards 
organizing the subsequently famous regiment of Massachusetts 

* Afterwards major of Knox's Artillery. 
f Records of the Provincial Congress. 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 155 

artillery, tvhich Gridley, Knox, and Crane commmanded. The 
pieces first used were 3-pounders,* and were those taken to 
Bunker Hill, where rive of the six were captured by the enemy. 
Among the Ehode Island troops which arrived at Cambridge 
early in June was a fine company of artillery, with four excel- 
lent field-pieces. On the 1 2th of June Edes's Gazette stated that 

" Many large pieces of battering cannon are expected soon from 
different places ; twelve pieces. 18 and 24 pounders, with a quan- 
tity of ordnance-stores, we are informed, are already arrived from 
Providence." 

A train with four field-pieces had also arrived in camp from 
Connecticut. We have been thus circumstantial because much 
curiosity has existed in relation to the Provincial artillery 
before the arrival of Knox from Crown Point with fifty-five 
pieces of various calibres. In the autumn of 1776 Massa- 
chusetts began to cast cannon. 

With regard to small-arms the difficulties were even greater. 
Spears were largely used to supply the want of bayonets, and 
were kept within all the works to repel assault. They were 
frequently examined, cleaned, and kept ready for service. As 
for muskets, the General Court, as far back as 1770, had tried 
to wheedle Hutchinson out of the Province arms, but he refused 
to distribute them to the militia as recommended. The arms 
were seized, however, in February, 1775, and removed from 
Harvard College, where they were deposited, to Worcester, to 
be out of Gage's clutches. Private sources were soon exhausted, 
and there were no public workshops. Washington paid £ 3 
for a gun on his arrival at Cambridge; and by September, 1776, 
the price for a serviceable musket with bayonet made in the 
State was £ 4. During the siege the scarcity became so great 
that the muskets had to be taken by force from soldiers whose 
term of enlistment had expired, and who brought their own 
guns, in order to supply those coming to take their places. 

Rev. William Emerson, grandfather of Ptalph Waldo Emer- 
son, who was a chaplain in the army at this time, affords us 
glimpses of the Continental camps after the arrival of Wash- 
ington : — 



156 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

" My quarters are at the foot of the famous Prospect Hill, where 
such great preparations are made for the reception of the enemy. It 
is very diverting to walk among the camps. They are as different 
in their form as the owners are in their dress, and every tent is a 
portraiture of the temper and taste of the persons who encamp in it. 
Some are made of boards and some of sail-cloth. Some partly of 
one and some partly of the other. Again, others are made of stone 
and turf, brick and brush. Some are thrown up in a hurry; others 
curiously wrought with doors and windows done with wreaths and 
withes in the manner of a basket. Some are your proper tents and 
marquees, looking like the regular camp of the enemy. In these are 
the Rhode-Islanders, who are furnished with tent-equipage and 
everything in the most exact English style. However, I think this 
great variety is rather a beauty than a blemish in the army." 

Rhode Island has always sent her sons to the field in a man- 
ner highly creditable to herself. As in the Revolution so in the 
late Rebellion her troops presented themselves supplied with 
every necessary for active service. When the Rhode-Islanders 
reached Washington, in 1861, their commander was asked, 
"What are your wants'?" " Nothing," was the reply; " my 
State has provided for everything." 

It was on Prospect Hill that Putnam raised, on the 18th of 
July, 1775, his celebrated flag, bearing on one side the motto, 
" An Appeal to Heaven ! " and on the reverse the three vines, 
which are the armorial bearings of Connecticut, with the legend, 
" Qui Transtulit Sustinet I " The shouts that rent the air when 
Old Put gave the signal are said to have caused the British 
on Bunker Hill to rush to arms, in the fear of an immediate 
attack. 

Among Greene's officers Colonel Whitcomb of Lancaster has 
been mentioned. The Deacon, as he was usually called, was 
left out in the new organization of the army, on account of his 
age. His men, who were much attached to him, highly re- 
sented this treatment of the old man, and declared they would 
not re-enlist. The Colonel told them he did not doubt there 
were good reasons for the regulation, and said he would enlist 
as a private soldier. Colonel Brewer, who heard of this deter- 
mination, offered to resign in favor of Whitcomb. The affair 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 157 

coming to Washington's knowledge, he permitted Brewer to 
carry his proposal into effect, giving him at the same time an 
appointment as "barrack-roaster until a vacancy should occur in 
the line. The General then published the whole transaction 
in orders. 

On New- Year's Day, 1776, the Union Flag, bearing thirteen 
stripes, was hoisted at Prospect Hill, and saluted with thirteen 
guns. This was the birthday of the new Continental army of 
undying fame. Now, for the first time, the thirteen united 
Colonies had a common flag. From this lofty height the colors 
were plainly distinguishable in the enemy's camps, and were at 
first thought to be a token of submission, — the king's speech 
having been sent to the Americans the same day. But the 
enemy were speedily undeceived ; the proclamation was not re- 
ceived until after the flag had been flung to the breeze. There 
it continued to fly until raised in triumph on the abandoned 
works of the British. 

Prospect Hill is occasionally mentioned as Mt. Pisgah. It 
could be reached by the enemy's battery at West Boston, which 
threw a 13-inch shell into the citadel during the bombard- 
ment preceding the possession of Dorchester Heights. The 
missile exploded without doing any injury. The hill, too, is 
associated with the last days of the siege by two incidents. An 
accidental fire which occurred in the barracks was conceived by 
Howe to be a signal for calling in the militia from the country, 
and probably accelerated his preparations to depart. The fol- 
lowing order was issued to the armv from headquarters, March 
4, 1776: — 

" The flag on Prospect Hill and that at the Laboratory on Cam- 
bridge Common are ordered to be hoisted only upon a general alarm : 
of this the whole army is to take particular notice, and immediately 
upon these colors being displayed every officer and soldier must re- 
pair to his alarm-post. This to remain a standing order until the 
commander-in-chief shall please to direct otherwise." 

Prospect Hill next demands attention from the circumstance 
that in November, 1777, it became the quarters of the British 
portion of Burgoyne's army; the Hessians occupied the barracks 



158 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

on Winter Hill. The British arrived at Cambridge on Thurs- 
day the Gth, and the Germans on the following day. 

The English entered Cambridge, via Watertown, in the 
midst of a pelting storm, and, without halting, proceeded 
quickly onward to Prospect Hill. The officers had their side- 
arms, which they were allowed by the treaty to retain ; but the 
men, unarmed, gloomy, and sullen, wore little of the defiant air 
of British soldiers. 

As for the Hessians, the appearance they presented was 
truly pitiable. The men were ragged and filthy, from the 
effects of the long marches and bivouacs without shelter. Most 
of them had their tobacco-pipes, with which, with the national 
phlegm, they were solacing their misfortunes, so that a cloud of 
smoke enveloped them as they moved along. They were fol- 
lowed by numbers of their women, staggering under the bur- 
dens of camp utensils, with huge hampers on their backs, from, 
which peeped infants, some of them born on the road. That 
the Germans were regarded with the utmost curiosity by the 
population we can well believe, for the most frightful stories 
were current concerning their prowess and bloodthirstiness. 
The American ladies, ignorant that at home these women per- 
formed their share of the labor of the fields, looked with 
compassion on what they considered evidence of the brutal- 
ity of the men. ' What with the tobacco-smoke and effluvia 
arising from this motley horde, the air was tainted as they 
passed by. 

The Hessian officers politely saluted the ladies whom they 
saw at the windows, but the Britons, ever selfish and intract- 
able in misfortune, kept their eyes upon the ground. Burgoyne 
rode at the head of his men, behind the advanced guard. He 
and his officers went to Bradish's tavern, afterwards Porter's, 
where they remained temporarily. The animals which drew 
the prisoners' baggage-wagons seemed to partake of the sorry 
condition of their masters, being lean and half starved. 

General Phillips, during the early part of the march from 
Saratoga, is said to have expressed his astonishment that so 
great an expenditure of money and life should have been made 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 159 

to conquer so barren and unattractive a region as that through 
which they were then passing. When they came to the beau- 
tiful and fertile valley of the Connecticut, General Whipple 
observed : " This, General, is the country we are fighting for." 
" Ah ! " replied Phillips, " this is a country w T orth a ten years' 
war." 

The British officers soon became familiar objects to the people 
of Cambridge, some of whom did not care to conceal their dis- 
content at the airs these sons of Mars gave themselves. They 
lived on the best the country and the times afforded, prom- 
enading the College grounds, and appearing in public with 
their swords belted about them. A slight check to their self- 
sufficiency was the sight of their whole train of artillery, which 
was parked on the Common. 

There were two rows of barracks situated outside the citadel. 
These barracks were enclosed by a fence, at the entrance gate 
of which a sentinel was posted. Within the citadel was the 
guard-house, ahvays occupied by a strong detachment of our 
troops. Sentinels were placed on the Charlestown and Cam- 
bridge roads, and at the provision barracks at the foot of the 
hill. A chain of sentinels extended across the valley between 
Prospect and Winter Hills, the line passing immediately in 
rear of Oliver Tufts's farm-house. The peculiarity of the terms 
granted to Burgoyne and his soldiers under the convention with 
Gates caused the British officers and men to reject the name of 
prisoners. They were styled "the troops of the Convention." 

The American guards were drawn from the militia of Massa- 
chusetts expressly for this service, they were, for the most 
part, ignorant of camp discipline, and were ridiculed and abused 
by the prisoners whenever an opportunity presented itself. The 
guards, therefore, did not go beyond the letter of their orders 
to show respect to the prisoners. 

The Britons, on the other hand, were not of a better class 
than was usual in the rank and file of that service. Many rob- 
beries were committed by them on the roads and even within 
the towns. Moreover, the apprehensions caused by the pres- 
ence of so large a body of turbulent spirits near a populous 



160 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

place justified, the enforcement of stringent regulations. As for 
the officers, they were supercilious to a degree, and one of 
them was shot dead for neglecting to answer the challenge of a 
sentry. 

Inside their barracks the Convention troops were allowed to 
manage for themselves. They were paraded, punished, and re- 
ceived from their own officers orders pertaining to their comfort 
or discipline precisely as if under the protection of their own 
flag. There was a British and a Hessian officer of the day who 
saw that the police of the barracks was properly performed. 
The barracks were, of course, at all times subject to the inspec- 
tion of the Continental officer of the guard. 

Many of the Germans were received into families in Boston as 
servants, or found employment as farm-laborers in the neighbor- 
ing towns by their own desire. Numbers of them, after having 
been clothed and well fed, absconded. Five of the British were 
in Boston jail at one time, charged with highway robbery ; on 
one of them was found a watch taken from a gentleman on 
Charlestown Common. Numerous instances occurred where 
houses in and around Boston were robbed of weapons only, 
while more valuable booty was left untouched. This created 
an impression that a conspiracy existed among the prisoners to 
obtain their freedom, especially after the refusal of Congress 
to carry out the provisions of the capitulation became known in 
the camp of the Convention troops. 

Matters soon came to a crisis. Some of the British one day 
knocked down a sentinel and took away his gun, which they 
concealed in their quarters and refused to give up. At another 
time they rescued a prisoner from a guard, and showed every 
disposition to turn upon their jailers. After this last occur- 
rence, Colonel David Henley, who commanded at Cambridge, 
ordered a body of the prisoners who had collected in front of 
his guard on Prospect Hill to retire to their barracks. One of 
the prisoners refusing to obey, Colonel Henley wounded him 
with his sword. On a previous occasion he had, in endeavor- 
ing to silence an insolent prisoner, seized a firelock from the 
guard and slightly wounded the man in the breast. 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 161 

For these acts Colonel Henley was formally accused by Gen- 
eral Burgoyne " of behavior heinously criminal as an officer and 
unbecoming a man; of the most indecent, violent, vindictive 
severity against unarmed men, and of intentional murder." 
Colonel Henley was placed in arrest and tried by a mili- 
tary court at Cambridge, of which Colonel Glover was presi- 
dent, and Colonel William Tudor judge-advocate. General 
Burgoyne appeared as prosecutor. His address to the court 
was a model of wheedling, cajolery, and special pleading. 
He complimented the president for. his honorable treatment 
of the Convention troops on the march to Boston. To Col- 
onel Wesson, who had immediate command in the district 
when the troops arrived, he also paid his respects, and even 
the judge-advocate came in for a share of his persuasive 
eloquence. 

It was believed that Burgoyne undertook the rdle of pros- 
ecutor, not only to recover in some degree his waning influence 
with his troops, but to retrieve, if possible, his reputation 
at home, by appearing in the guise of the champion of his 
soldiers. 

Henley owed his acquittal mainly to the exertions of Colonel 
Tudor in his behalf. The evidence showed that the prisoner 
had acted under great provocation ; but what most influenced 
the result was the startling testimony adduced of the mutinous 
spirit prevalent among the British soldiers. 

A day or two after this trial the judge-advocate and Colonel 
Henley met at Boxbury in making a visit to a family where a 
lady resided to whom Colonel H. was paying his addresses. 
He fancied himself coldly received, and was in rather a melan- 
choly humor as they rode into town together. In coming over 
the Keck he abruptly said to his companion, " Colonel Tudor, 
I will thank you to shoot me ! " " Why, what is the matter 
now 1 " asked Tudor. " You have ruined me." " I thought I 
had rendered you some assistance in the trial." "You said I 
was a man of passionate, impetuous temper ; this has destroyed 
me in the estimation of the woman I love ; you see she received 
me coldly. You have destroyed my happiness. You may now 



162 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

do me a favor to shoot me." Colonel Tudor was vexed for a 
moment at this sort of return for the services he had ren- 
dered, but these feelings were transient on both sides ; they 
continued friends, and Colonel Henley married the lady he 
loved. * 

Henley had served at the siege of Boston as brigade-major to 
General Heath. In December, 1776, he was lieutenant-colonel 
of Eufus Putnam's regiment. He commanded the rear-guard 
in the disastrous retreat through the Jerseys, gaining the 
opposite shore of the Delaware at midnight, just as Cornwallis 
reached the river. 

Colonel William Tudor presided over the courts-martial at 
Cambridge after the arrival of Washington. He was the class- 
mate and chum of Chief Justice Parsons at Harvard, graduating 
in the class of 1769. In 1777 he was appointed lieutenant- 
colonel of Henley's regiment. His courtship of the lady who 
afterwards became his wife was prosecuted under very romantic 
circumstances. By the hostilities which had broken out he was 
separated from the object of his affections, who was residing on 
Noddles Island (East Boston), in the family of Henry Howell 
Williams. The British fleet, which lay off the island, rendered 
it dangerous to approach it in a boat. A boyish acquisition 
was now of use to the gallant colonel. He was an excellent 
swimmer. • Tying his clothes in a bundle on his head, he, like 
another Leander, swam the strait between the island and the 
main, paid his visit, and returned the way he came. Miss Delia 
Jarvis — that was the lady's name — became Mrs. Tudor. The 
Colonel's son, William, is well known in literature as one of 
the founders of the Anthology Club, and first editor of the 
North American Eeview. The eldest daughter of Colonel 
Tudor married Robert Hallo well Gardiner, of Gardiner, Maine ; 
the youngest married Commodore Charles Stuart of the United 
States Navy. 

It is related of Colonel Tudor, that when a boy, being on a 
visit on board an English line-of-battle ship in Boston harbor, 
the conversation turned upon swimming. Tudor proposed to 
* Mass. Historical Collections. 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 163 

jump from the taffrail rail, which in ships of that time was at a 
considerable height from the water, if any one would do the 
same. A sailor accepted the challenge. The boy took the leap, 
but the man was afraid to follow. 

As mention has been made of Colonel James Wesson in con- 
nection with the trial of Henley, we may be permitted to intro- 
duce an anecdote of the manner in which that brave officer's 
active career was brought to a close. He had been commissioned 
major of Samuel Gerrish's regiment as early as the 19th May, 
1775, by Joseph Warren, and served at the siege of Boston. In 
^November, 1776, he was made colonel. He fought with credit at 
Saratoga and Monmouth. In the latter battle our artillery under 
Knox opened an unexampled cannonade, to which the British 
guns fiercely replied. Colonel Wesson, who then commanded 
the 9th Massachusetts, was in the front line. Leaning over his 
horse's neck to look under the cannon smoke, which enveloped 
everything, a ball from the enemy grazed his back, tearing away 
his clothing, and with it fragments of his flesh. Had he re- 
mained upright an instant longer he would have been killed ; 
as it was, he remained a cripple for life. 

In the summer of 1778 the British prisoners were transferred 
to Rutland, Massachusetts ; a certain number went to Barre, in 
the same State. Some thirty or forty of the worst characters, 
known to have been implicated in the riots which preceded the 
Henley affair, were placed on board the guard-ships at Boston. 

On the 28th July the 20th British regiment, numbering 
then about four hundred men, marched for Eutland, under 
escort of a detachment of Colonel Thatcher's regiment. They 
were followed on the 2d of September by the 21st and 47th, 
and on the 5th by the 24th regiment. The last of the English 
troops marched for the same destination on the 15th of 
October, and the people of Boston breathed freer than they had 
done for months. 

Mrs. Warren, who was an eyewitness, thus speaks of the 
effects produced by the presence of the British soldiery : — 

" This idle and dissipated army lay too long in the vicinity of 
Boston for the advantage of either side. While there, in durance, 



164 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

they disseminated their manners ; they corrupted the students of 
Harvard College and the youth of the capital and its environs, who 
were allured to enter into their gambling-parties and other scenes of 
licentiousness. They became acquainted with the designs, resources, 
and weaknesses of America ; and there were many among them 
whose talents and capacity rendered them capable of making the 
most mischievous use of their knowledge." 

As might have been expected, there were a great many de- 
sertions among the foreign troops. Before the end of December 
four hundred of the English were missing, while the Bruns- 
wickers lost no fewer than seventy-three in a single month. 
Colonels Lee, Henley, and Jackson were all recruiting in Bos- 
ton in 1777-78, and, as men were very scarce, they were not 
averse to enlisting the English soldiers. Burgoyne gave out 
publicly that neither he nor his troops were prisoners, but only 
an unarmed body of men marching through a country to the 
nearest seaport to embark for their homes. The men them- 
selves, or many of them, were anxious to enlist, and the regi- 
ments then in Boston would have had no difficulty in filling up, 
had it not been that this course was discountenanced at the 
headquarters of the army as repugnant to the good of the ser- 
vice. The Hessian general was obliged to place non-commis- 
sioned officers as sentinels, — privates could not be trusted, — to 
prevent his men from running away. Some of them entered 
the American service, and the descendants of some are now 
living among us. 

We obtain the following account of the manner in which the 
Convention troops were quartered at Rutland from the state- 
ment of one of the prisoners : — 

" Here we were confined in a sort of pen or fence, which was con- 
structed in the following manner : A great number of trees were 
ordered to be cut down in the woods. These were sharpened at 
each end and drove firmly into the earth, very close together, en- 
closing a space of about two or three acres. Ajnerican sentinels were 
planted on the outside of this fence, at convenient distances, in order 
. to prevent our getting out. At one angle a gate was erected, and on 
the outside thereof stood the guard-house. Two sentinels were con- 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 165 

stantly posted at this gate, and no one could get out unless he had a 
pass from the officer of the guard ; but this was a privilege in which 
very few were indulged. Boards and nails were given the British, 
in order to make them temporary huts to secure them from the rain 
and the heat of the sun. The provisions were rice and salt pork, 
delivered with a scanty hand. The officers were allowed to lodge in 
the farm-houses which lay contiguous to the pen ; they were per- 
mitted likewise to come in amongst their men for the purpose of 
roll-call and other matters of regularity." 

On the 9th November, 1778, the British and Germans, in 
accordance with a resolve of Congress, began their march for 
Virginia in six divisions, each of which was accompanied by an 
American escort. Each nationality formed a division. The 
first English division consisted of the artillery, grenadiers, and 
light infantry, and the 9th (Taylor's) regiment, under command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Hill. The second English division con- 
sisted of the 20th (Parr's) and 21st (Hamilton's) regiments, 
commanded by Major Eorster; and the third, composed of 
the 24th (Fraser's), 47th (Nesbitt's), and 62d (Anstruther's) 
regiments, were under the command of Brigadier Hamilton. 
The first German division consisted of the dragoons, grenadiers, 
and the regiment Von Rhetz, under Major Von Mengen. In 
the second division were the regiments Von Eiedesel and Von 
Specht, led by General Specht ; the third was made up of the 
Barner Battalion, the regiment Hesse Hanau, and the artillery, 
under Brigadier Gall. The divisions marched respectively on 
the 9th, 10th, and 1.1th, keeping one day in advance of each 
other on the route. Burgoyne having been permitted to return 
to England, General Phillips was in command of all the Con- 
vention troops. He had been placed in arrest by General Heath 
for using insulting expressions in connection with Lieutenant 
Brown's death, but Gates, who now succeeded to the command, 
relieved the fiery Briton from his disability. 

The story of the sojourn of the British army in the interior 
of Massachusetts closes with a domestic tragedy. Bathsheba 
Spooner was the daughter of that tough old tory, Brigadier 
Ruggles, of Sandwich, Massachusetts, who fought with Sir 



166 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

William Johnson in 1755. He had been at the head of the 
bench of the Court of Common Pleas, and a delegate to the 
Congress of 1765, where his course subjected him to reprimand 
from the Massachusetts House. In 1774 he was a Mandamus 
Councillor, and in the following year, after taking refuge in the 
then tory asylum of Boston, he attempted to raise a loyal corps 
there, of which Howe appointed him commandant. In some 
respects Buggies was not unlike Putnam, — he was brave and 
impetuous. Like him, also, he was a tavern-keeper; but he 
wanted the love of country, and rough good-humor which made 
every one admire Old Put. 

Bathsheba proved to be a sort of female Borgia. Her husband, 
Joshua Spooner, was a respected citizen of Brookfleld, Massa- 
chusetts. His wife, who had conceived a lawless passion for 
another, found in William Brooks and James Buchanan — 
soldiers of Burgoyne — two instruments fit for her bloody pur- 
pose. She employed them to murder her husband, which they 
did without remorse. The murderess, her two assassins, and 
another participant were tried, convicted, and executed at 
Worcester in July, 1778, for the crime. There is not in the 
criminal annals of Massachusetts a more horrible and repulsive 
record than this trial affords. For such a deed we can but 
think of the invocation of Lady Macbeth : — 

" Come, come, you spirits 
■ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here ; 
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full 
Of direst cruelty ! make thick my "blood, 
Stop up the access and passage to remorse, 
That no compunctious visitings of nature 
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between 
The effect and it ! " 

Buchanan, one of the criminals, is supposed to be .the same 
who was a corporal in the 9th regiment. He had been a leader 
in the mutiny on Prospect Hill, and was in arrest at the time 
of the Henley trial. In taking leave for the present of the 
Convention troops, we recall the pertinent inquiry : " Who 
would have thought that Mr. Burgoyne's declaration would 
have been, so soon verified when he said in Parliament that at 



lee's headquarters and vicinity. 167 

the head of' five thousand troops he would march through the 
continent of America 1 " 

The remains of the works on Prospect Hill may still be fol- 
lowed, with here and there a loss of continuity where houses 
have been built, or the original level cut away so as to conform 
to a certain grade. We found little difficulty in pursuing the 
entire line from the redoubt near the new High School on 
Central Hill, which terminated the defences on this side, to the 
extreme summit of Mount Prospect, where stood the citadel. 

The ground in the vicinity of the High School is upheaved 
into mounds, which evidently formed a part of the old redoubt. 
The line of the ditch can still be traced to where it is crossed 
by Highland Avenue. Beyond here, again, the intrenchment 
still remains breast-high, with a well-defined fosse, in which 
trees are growing. At this point a stone with a brief inscrip- 
tion would in future call to remembrance the site of the 
intrenchment. 

Leaving this, the northerly of the two eminences of Prospect 
Hill, we pass on to the extreme summit, where an enchanting 
view bursts upon the sight. The homes of half a million of 
people are before you. The tall chimneys of East Cambridge, 
the distant steeples of the city and of its lesser satellites, whose 
hands arc grasped across the intervening river, form a won- 
drous and instructive exhibition of that prosperity which our 
fathers battled to secure. 

Could the shades of those who by day and by night kept 
watch and ward on this embattled height once again revisit the 
scene of their trials and their triumphs, we could scarcely ex- 
pect them to recognize in the majestic, dome-crowned city the 
gray old town which they beheld through the morning mists 
of a century gone by, or even to identify the winding river on 
whose bosom lay moored the hostile shipping, and from whose 

black sides, 

"Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions, 
Their cannon through the night, 
Holding their breath, had watched in grim defiance 
The sea-coast opposite." 



1G8 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

• The relics of the ancient citadel and its outworks are plainly 
marked, though in some places mere drifts of earth give the 
contour. Thick and solid must have been the ramparts to 
have endured the storms of ninety odd years, and even now 
they are to fall at the command of improvement before their 
outline has been beaten back by the elements into the earth 
from which they sprung. 

On all sides the hill is being digged down, and erelong Put- 
nam's and Greene's strong fortress will have melted away. The 
hill would have been in all time a favorite resort, which good 
taste might have converted into a beautiful park. The site is 
wanted for building, and, no voice potent enough being raised 
to arrest its destruction, this bold headland of the Revolution, 
so remarkable for its height and its associations, must fall. We 
bid a reluctant adieu to Mount Prospect. 



OLD CHARLESTOWN ROAD. 169 



CHAPTER VIII. 

OLD CHARLESTOWN ROAD, LECHMERE's POINT, AND PUTNAM^ 
HEADQUARTERS. 

" Poor Tommy Gage within a cage 
Was kept at Boston luC , man, 
Till Willie Howe took o'er the knowe 
For Philadelphia, man." 

OF the many whose custom it is to pass over the high-road 
leading from Charlestown to Cambridge Common it is 
likely that few are aware that they follow the course over which 
condemned criminals were once transported for execution. Its 
antecedents may not he as prolific of horrors as the way from 
Newgate to Tyburn, which counts a life for every rod of the 
journey, but its consequence as one of the most frequented 
highways of colonial days caused its selection for an exhibition 
which chills the blood, and carries us back within view of the 
atrocious judicial punishments of the Dark Ages. 

To kill was not enough. The law was by no means satisfied 
with the victim's life. The poor human shell must be hacked 
or mangled with all the savagery which barbarous ingenuity 
could devise ; and at last Justice erected her revolting sign by 
the public highway, where the decaying corse of the victim 
creaked in a gibbet, as it mournfully obeyed the behest of the 
night-wind. Gibbeting, burning, impaling, have all a precedent 
in New England, of which let us relate an incident or two. 

In the year 1749 a fire broke out in Charlestown, destroying 
some shops and other buildings belonging to Captain John 
Codman, a respectable citizen and active military officer. It 
transpired that Captain Codman had been poisoned by his 
negro servants, Mark, Phillis, and Phoebe, who were favorite 
domestics, and that the arson was committed to destroy the 



170 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

evidence of the crime. The man had procured arsenic and the 
women administered it. Mark was hanged, and Phillis was 
burnt at the usual place of execution in Cambridge. Phoebe, 
who was said to have been the most culpable, became evidence 
against the others. She was transported to the "West Indies. 
The body of Mark was suspended in irons on the northerly side 
of Cambridge road, now Washington Street, a little west of and 
very near the stone quarry now there. The gibbet remained 
until a short time before the Revolution, and is mentioned by 
Paul Revere as the place where he was intercepted by a patrol 
of British officers on the night he carried the news of the march 
of the regulars to Lexington. A specimen of one of these bar- 
barous engines of cruelty may be 
seen in the Boston Museum. It 
was brought from Quebec, and 
looks as though it might have been 
put to horrid purpose. 

This was, in all probability, the 
latest occurrence of burning and 
gibbeting in Massachusetts. Earlier 
it was not uncommon to condemn 
malefactors of the worst sort to be hung in chains. As long 
ago as 1726 the bodies of the pirates, William Fly, Samuel 
Cole, and Henry Greenville, were taken after execution to Nix's 
Mate, in Boston harbor, where the remains of Ply were sus- 
pended in chains ; the others were buried on the island, which 
then contained several acres. Hence the superstitious awe 
with which the place is even now regarded by mariners, and 
which the disappearance of the island has served so firmly to 
establish. 

We must confess that while our humanity revolts at these 
barbarous usages of our ancestors, we cannot but admit that 
punishment, followed crime in their day with a certainty by no 
means paralleled in our own. The severity of the code, the 
infliction of death for petty crimes, we must abhor and con- 
demn ; but we may still contrast that state of things, in which 
the criminal's life was held so cheaply, with the present time, 




OLD CHARLESTOWN ROAD. 171 

in which condemned malefactors repose on luxuriant couches, 
while the law jealously guards them from the penalty of crime, 
and justice, uncertain of itself, repeals its sentence and sets the 
guilty free. To something we must attribute the startling 
increase of crime. Can it be the laxity of the law? 

Thomas Morton, the Merry Andrew of Mount Wollaston, 
relates, in his New English Canaan, an occurrence which, he 
says, happened to Weston's colony, in what is now Weymouth ; 
and upon this slight foundation Hudibras built his humorous 
account of the hanging of a weaver for the crime of which a 
cobbler had been adjudged guilty : — 

" Our brethren of New England use 
Choice mal-factors to excuse, 
And hang the guiltless in their stead, 
Of whom the churches have less need ; 
As lately happened." 

Morton's story goes that, one of Weston's men having stolen 
corn from an Indian, a parliament of all the people was called 
to decide what punishment should be inflicted. It was agreed 
that the crime was a felony under the laws of England, and that 
the culprit must suffer death. Upon this a person arose and 
harangued the assembly. He proposed that as the accused was 
young and strong, fit for resistance against an enemy, they 
should take the young man's clothes and put them upon some 
old, bedridden person, near to the grave, and hang him in the 
stead of the other. Although Morton says the idea was well 
liked by the multitude, he admits that the substitution was not 
made, and that the course of justice was allowed to take effect 
upon the real offender. 

Branding was not an unusual punishment in former times. 
A marine belonging to one of his Majesty's ships lying in Bos- 
ton harbor, in 1770, being convicted of manslaughter, was 
immediately branded in the hand and dismissed. Mont- 
gomery and Killroy, convicted of the same crime for participa- 
tion in the 5th of March massacre, were also branded in the 
same manner. 

Directly in front of Mount Prospect, of which it is a lesser 



172 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



satellite, is the hill on which is situated the Asylum for the 
Insane, named for noble John McLean. During the siege this 
elevation was indifferently called Miller's and Cobble Hill, and 
subsequently Barrell's Hill, from Joseph Barrell of Boston, 
whose superb old mansion is still standing there. 

The work on Cobble Hill was laid out by General Putnam 
and Colonel Knox. It was begun on the night of November 

22, 1775, and 
was considered, 
when completed, 
the best speci- 
men of military 
engineering the 
Americans could 
yet boast of, — 
receiving the 
name of Put- 
nam's impregna- 
ble fortress. To 
Washington's 
great surprise, he 
was allowed to 
finish the work without the least interruption from the enemy. 
Cobble Hill was within point-blank range of the enemy's 
lines on Bunker Hill, and the post was designed to command 
the ferry between Boston and Charlestown, as well as to pre- 
vent the enemy's vessels of war from moving up the river at 
pleasure, — a result fully accomplished by arming the fort with 
18 and 24 pounders. 

As Colonel Knox had a principal share in laying out the fort 
on Cobble Hill, the only one of the works around Boston he is 
certainly known to have designed, the eminence should retain 
some association with the name of this distinguished soldier of 
the Eevolution. 

At the time he quitted Boston to repair to the American 
camp, Knox rented of Benjamin Harrod a store in old Cornhill 
(now the site of the " Globe " newspaper), who readily con- 




OLD CHARLESTOWN EOAD. 173 

sented that Knox's goods might remain there, in the belief that 
his tory connections — he had lately married the daughter of 
Secretary Flucker — would be a safeguard for both. The store, 
however, was rifled by the British, and .tbe landlord put in a 
claim against Knox for the time it was shut up, which Knox 
indignantly refused to allow. After the evacuation, William 
Knox, brother of the general, continued the business of a book- 
seller at the same stand. 

When the Revolution began, Knox was a lieutenant of the 
Boston Grenadiers, commanded by Thomas Dawes, with the 
rank of major. Dawes was an officer of activity and address, 
and had exerted himself to bring the militia to a high standard 
of excellence. The presence of some of the best regiments in 
the British service offered both a model and incentive for these 
efforts. The company was composed of mechanics and profes- 
sional men, selected with regard to their height and martial 
bearing, no member being under five feet ten inches, and many 
six feet in height. Joseph Peirce was a lieutenant with Knox, 
and Lemuel Trescott (afterwards a distinguished officer in the 
Massachusetts line) was orderly-sergeant. The company made a 
splendid appearance on parade, and Knox was considered a re- 
markably fine-looking officer. So at least thought one young 
lady, who, it is said, became captivated with her tall grenadier 
through those broad avenues to the female heart, admiration 
and pity, and by the following circumstance : — 

Harry Knox had been out gunning some time previous, when 
the piece he carried, bursting in his hands, occasioned the loss 
of several of his fingers. "He made his appearance in the 
company," says Captain Henry Burbeck, "with the wound 
handsomely bandaged with a scarf, which, of course, excited 
the sympathy of all the ladies. I recollect the circumstance as 
well as though it had only happened yesterday. I stood at the 
head of Bedford Street and saw them coming up." 

It is probable that Lucy Flucker was a frequent visitor to 
Knox's shop, for he reckoned the cream of the old Bostonians, 
as well as the debonair officers of his Majesty's army and fleet, 
among his customers. Longman was his London correspondent, 



174 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS, OF MIDDLESEX. 

and that arch-knave, Rivington, his New York ally in trade; be 
it known that JSTew York relied on Boston chiefly for its advices 
from England before the Revolution. There is evidence that 
the affair of Knox and Miss Mucker was a love-match not 
sanctioned by her family. Lucy Flucker, with a true woman's 
faith and self-devotion, espoused the cause and embraced the 
fortunes of her husband. She followed him to the camp and 
to the field. 

Knox's great reputation as an officer of artillery had its 
beginning here before Boston. He succeeded Gridley in the 
command of the Massachusetts regiment of artillery, a regiment 
of which Paddock's company formed the nucleus, and of which 
some twenty members became commissioned officers in the 
army of the Revolution. That company nobly responded when 
Joseph "Warren demanded of them how many could be counted 
on to. serve in the Army of Constitutional Liberty when it 
should take the field. And David Mason, who had raised the 
company, subsequently. Paddock's, made no effort to obtain 
promotion for himself, but declared his willingness to serve 
under Knox, if the latter could be appointed colonel of the 
artillery. 

Knox became very early a favorite with Washington. We 
know -not whether the general-in-chief was of Caesar's way of 
thinking, but it is certain Knox would have fulfilled the 
Roman's desire when he exclaims from his heart : — 

" Let me have men about me that are fat ; 
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights." 

We have seen that Washington told Greene he meant to 
keep Knox near him. On the other hand, Knox loved and 
revered his commander as a son. At that memorable leave- 
taking at Francis's tavern in New York, which no American 
can read without emotion, the General, after his few, touching 
words of farewell, invites his comrades to take him by the 
hand. "Knox, being nearest, turned to him. Incapable of 
utterance, Washington, in tears, grasped his hand, embraced, 
and kissed him. In the same affectionate maimer he took 



OLD CHAELESTOWN ROAD. 175 

leave of each succeeding officer." History does not record such 
another scene as this. 

Wilkinson says Knox facilitated the passage of the Delaware 
before Trenton by his stentorian lungs and extraordinary exer- 
tions. He was in the front at Monmouth, placing his pieces at 
a critical moment where they stemmed the British onset and 
restored the battle. But Harry Knox " won his spurs " by his 
successful exertions in removing the artillery from Crown Point 
to the camp at Cambridge. At one time failure stared him in 
the face. The advanced season and contrary winds were near 
preventing the transportation of his ponderous treasures across 
the lake. The bateaux were rotten, and some, after being- 
loaded with infinite difficulty, either sunk or let the cannon 
through their leaky bottoms. With joy at last Knox saw 
his efforts crowned with success. He writes to Washington, 
" Three days ago it was very uncertain whether we could 
have gotten them until next spring, but now, please God, they 
must go." 

The cannon and mortars were loaded on forty-two strong 
sleds, and were dragged slowly along by eighty yoke of oxen, 
the route being from Fort George to Kinderhook, and from 
thence, via Great Barrington, to Springfield, where fresh cattle 
were provided. The roads were bad, and suitable carriages 
could not be had, so that the train could not proceed without 
snow. Fortunately the roads became passable, and the sin- 
gular procession wound its tedious way through the moun- 
tains of Western Massachusetts and down to the sea. " We 
shall cut no small figure in going through the country with 
our cannon, mortars, &c, drawn by eighty yoke of oxen," 
says Knox. 

General Knox, notwithstanding his later pecuniary diffi- 
culties, in which some of his best friends were unfortunately 
involved, was the soul of honor. When the war broke out he 
was in debt to Longman and other London creditors to a con- 
siderable amount, but at the peace he paid the greater part of 
these debts in full. Well might Mrs. Knox, after her bereave- 
ment, epeak of " his enlarged soul, his generous heart, his 



176 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

gentleness of demeanor, and his expansive benevolence." He 
deserved it all. 

"When the General became a resident of Boston again, ten 
years after he had quitted it for the service, he was a tenant of 
Copley's house on Beacon Hill. He was then very fat, and 
wore in summer a high-crowned Leghorn hat, a very full shirt- 
frill, and usually carried a green umbrella under his arm. His 
injured hand was always wrapped in a silk handkerchief, which 
he Avas in the habit of unwinding when he stopped to speak 
with any one. Knox County and Knoxville in East Tennessee 
were named for the General while Secretary of War. 

Mrs. Knox was a fine horsewoman. She was affable and 
gracious to her equals, but was unbending and unsocial with 
her inferiors, so that when her husband went to live in his 
elegant home at Thomaston, Maine, she found the society but 
little congenial. Her winters were chiefly passed in Boston, 
among her former friends, where she was often to be seen at 
the evening parties. "When at home the General and lady re- 
ceived many notable guests, and many are the absurd stories 
still related of the General's prodigality. Mrs. Knox is said to 
have had a penchant for play, which, it must be remembered, 
was the rule and not the exception of fashionable society in her , 
day. To show, to what extent this practice prevailed in the 
good old town of Boston in 1782, we give the testimony of 
the high-bred Marquis Chastellux, to whom such scenes were 
familiar : — 

" They made me play at whist, for the first time since my 
arrival in America. The cards were English, that is, much hand- 
somer and dearer than ours, and we marked our points with Louis 
d'ors. When the party was finished the loss was not difficult to 
settle ; for the company was still faithful to that voluntary law estab- 
lished in society from the commencement of the troubles, which pro- 
hibited playing for money during the war. This law, however, was 
not scrupulously observed in the clubs and parties made by the men 
themselves. The inhabitants of Boston are fond of high play, and 
it is fortunate, perhaps, that the war happened when it did to 
moderate this passion, which began to be attended with dangerous 
consequences." 



OLD CHARLESTOWN ROAD. 177 

When General Knox was with the army under Washington, 
in the neighborhood of New York, his wife remained at a cer- 
tain town in Connecticut, awaiting an opportunity of rejoining 
her husband after the event of the campaign should be decided. 
Mrs. Knox had for a companion the wife of another Massa- 
chusetts officer. The person who let his house for a short time 
to the ladies asserted that, after their departure, twenty-five gal- 
lons of choice old rum which he had in his cellar, and of which 
Mrs. Knox had the key, were missing. 

It is not a little curious that while the splendid seat erected 
by Knox after the war, at Thomas'ton, which he named Mont- 
pelier, has been demolished, the old wooden house in Boston in 
which the General was born is still standing on Federal Street 
(old Sea Street) opposite Drake's Wharf, — that part of Boston 
being formerly known as Wheeler's Point. General Heath 
says in his memoirs that, being well acquainted with Knox 
before the war, he urged him to join the American army, but 
that Knox's removal out of Boston and the state of his do- 
mestic concerns required some arrangement, which he effected 
as soon as possible, and then joined his countrymen. 

Cobble Hill was, in December, 1777, the quarters of a por- 
tion of Burgoyne's troops, who were suspected of setting fire to 
the guard-house there at the same time a plot was discovered 
on board one of the guard-ships in the harbor for the release 
of the Bennington prisoners. 

Joseph Barrell was an eminent Boston merchant, who, while 
a resident of that town, had inhabite.d one of the most elegant 
old places to be found there. The evidences of his taste are 
still to be seen in the house which he built after the Eevolu- 
tionary War, and in the grounds which he laid out. Barrell's 
palace, as it was called, is reached by passing through a noble 
avenue, shaded by elms planted by the old merchant. It was 
erected in 1792, and was furnished with glass of American 
manufacture from the first works erected in Boston. The house, 
which is of brick, does not demand a particular description 
here, but is in all respects a noble old mansion, worthy a mag- 
nate of the Exchange. The interior arrangement of the ground- 
8* t. 



178 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

floor is unique and striking. Entering a vestibule opening 
into a spacious hall, across which springs the staircase, sup- 
ported by wooden columns, you pass under' this bridge into an 
oval reception-room in the rear of the building, an apartment 
of elegance even for our day, "and commanding a view of the 
gardens and fish-pond so much affected by the old proprietor, — 
a souvenir of the estate in Summer Street. In this room is 
hanging a portrait of McLean, the beneficent founder of the 
asylum, by Alexander, and another of Samuel Eliot, by Stuart. 
Mr. Barrell spared no expense in the interior decoration of his 
house, as the rich woodwork abundantly testifies. . He it was 
who first introduced the tautog into Boston Bay, a fish of such 
excellence that all true disciples of Isaak Walton should hold 
his name in grateful remembrance. 

Poplar Grove, as Mr. Barrell's place was called, was pur- 
chased in 1816, by the corporation of the Massachusetts General 
Hospital, — of which the asylum is an appendage, — of Ben- 
jamin Joy, and the Barrell mansion became, and has ever since 
remained, the residence of the physician and superintendent. 
Kufus Wyman, M. D., was, from the first opening in 1818 
until 1835, the physician here. 

There is nothing very imposing or inviting in the appearance 
of the old red • brick buildings, dome-capped though they are ; 
but the site itself is sufficiently beautiful to compensate for any 
want of architectural attractiveness. Some of the trees planted 
by Mr. Barrell were cut down to make room for the old wards, 
Avhich were planned without any particular regard to future 
wants or to the capabilities of the situation. It was remarked 
that the buildings were first erected to accommodate the trees, 
and the trees then cut down to accommodate the buildings. 

Here the poor patients whose wits are out may ramble in the 
pleasant paths and " babble o' green fields." Here we may see 
a Lear, there an Ophelia, — old and young, rich and poor, but 
with an equality of wretchedness that levels all worldly con- 
dition. Though dead in law as to the world, we know not that 
the lives of the inmates are a blank, or that some mysterious 
affinity may not exist among them. From the incurable maniac 



lechmere's point. 179 

down to the victim of a single hallucination, who is only mad 
when the wind is north-northwest, the principles of an enlarged 
philanthropy have been found to be productive of the most 
happy results. Their former lives are studied, and, as far as 
practicable, grafted upon the new. Your madhouse, perhaps 
the most repulsive of all earthly objects, becomes, under wise 
and kindly influences, the medium by which the insane are in 
very many instances returned into the world. Such have been 
for fifty years the fruits of McLean's exalted charity. 

None but the antiquary, who is ready to discard every sense 
but that of sight, need explore the margin of Miller's Eiver. If 
he expects to find a placid, inviting stream, with green banks 
and clumps of willows, — a stream for poetry or meditation, — 
let him beware. If he looks for a current in which to cast a 
line, or where he may float in his skiff and dream the day away, 
building his aerial chdteaux, let him discard all such ideas and 
pass by on the other side. Miller's Eiver ! faugh ! it smells to 
heaven ; not even the Ehine at Cologne could surpass it. Such 
draughts of air as are wafted to your nostrils from slaughter- 
houses, where whole hecatombs of squealing victims are daily 
sacrificed, are not of the chameleon's dish. 

Lechmere's Point, now East Cambridge, was so called from 
its ownership by the Lechmere family. Hon. Thomas Lech- 
mere, who died in 1765, was for many years Surveyor-General 
for the Northern District of America, and brother of the then 
Lord Lechmere. Eichard Lechmere, a royalist refugee of 1776, 
married a daughter of Lieutenant-Governor Spencer Phips, and 
by her inherited that part of the Phips estate of which we are 
now writing. This will account to the reader for the name of 
" Phips's Farm," which was sometimes applied to the Point in 
Eevolutionary times. About 1806 Andrew Craigie purchased 
the Point. The site of the old farm-house, which was the only 
one existing there prior to the Eevolution, was near where the 
Court House now stands. 

This locality is celebrated as the landing-place of the British 
grenadiers and light infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, 
on the night of April 18, 1775. It would not be unworthy 



180 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the public spirit of the citizens of East Cambridge to erect some 
memorial by which this fact may be perpetuated. » At high tide 
the Point was an island, connected only with the mainland by 
a causeway or dike. Willis's Creek or Miller's Eiver, was on 
the north, and received the waters of a little rivulet which 
flowed through the marsh on the west. 

The access to the Point before the Eevolution was by a 
bridge across Willis's Creek, and a causeway now corresponding 
^nearly with Gore Street. This causeway was probably little 
I more than a footway slightly raised above the level of the 
marsh, and submerged at high water. The troops lying on and 
around Prospect Hill were therefore nearest the Point. Wash- 
ington, in December, 1775, built the causeway now coinciding 
with Cambridge Street when he had resolved to fortify Lech- 
mere's Point. By this means he was enabled to reinforce the 
garrison there from Cambridge as well as Charlestown side, and 
by a route less circuitous than that leading from the camps 
above and at Inman's, which, diverging at Inman's, passed 
through his lane about as far as the present line of Cambridge 
Street, when it curved to the eastward, crossed the creek, and 
united with Charlestown road at the foot of Prospect Hill. 

The possession of a siege-train at last enabled Washington to 
plant batteries where they would seriously annoy the enemy in 
Boston. Among the most important of these were the forts 
on Cobble Hill and Lechmere's Point. 

Lechmere's Point was first fortified by the erection of a 
bomb-battery on the night of November 29, 1775. The for- 
tunate capture by Captain Manly of a British ordnance brig in 
Boston Bay gave, among other valuable stores, a 1 3-inch brass 
mortar to the besieging army. Colonel Stephen Moylan relates 
that the arrival of this trophy in camp was the occasion of great 
rejoicing. The mortar was placed in its bed in front of the 
laboratory on Cambridge Common for the occasion, and Old 
Put, mounted astride with a bottle of rum in his hand, stood 
parson, while Godfather Mifflin gave it the name of "Congress." 

The mortar was eventually placed in battery at the Point, 
where Washington had so far modified his original plan of a 



lechmeee's point. 181 

bomb-battery only as to cause the construction of two redoubts. 
The approach to the causeway and bridge leading to the Point 
from Charlestown side had previously been secured by a small 
work on the main shore. After constructing a covered way and 
improving the causeway, — a task which a heavy fall of snow 
much retarded, — Washington directed Putnam to throw up 
the redoubts. The enemy did not at first offer the least impedi- 
ment to the work, and the General could only account for this 
silence by the supposition that Howe, was meditating some 
grand stroke ; but as soon as the Americans had carried their 
covered way up to the brow of the hill and broke ground there, 
the British opened a heavy fire, which continued for several 
days, without, however, interrupting the work. Owing to the 
frozen condition of the ground, which made the labor one of 
infinite difficulty, it was not until the last days of February 
that the redoubts were completed. 

With proper ordnance the Americans were now able to 
render the west part of Boston, which was only half a mile dis- 
tant, untenable to the enemy, and to drive his ships and float- 
ing-batteries, from which they had experienced the greatest 
annoyance, out of the river. The arrival of Colonel Knox with 
the heavy artillery from Ticonderoga and Crown Point supplied 
the want that had all along been so keenly felt. On the 25th 
of February, 1776, Knox orders Burbeck, his lieutenant-colonel, 
to arm the batteries at Lechmere's Point with two 18 and two 
24 pounders, to be removed from Prospect Hill ; and on the 
26th Washington announces the mounting there of heavy 
ordnance and the preparation of two platforms for mortars, but 
laments the want of the thing essential to offensive operations. 
An officer writes in January of this poverty of ammunition : — 

" The bay is open, — everything thaws here except Old Put. He 
is 3till as hard as ever crying out for powder, powder ! ye gods, give 
us powder ! " 

From this point Boston was successfully bombarded on the 
2d March, 1776. A number of houses in what is now the 
West End were struck, — Peter Chardon's, in Bowdoin Square, 



182 HISTOEIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

where the granite church now stands, being hit several times. 
The ball which so long remained in Brattle Street Church, a 
visible memorial of the siege, was undoubtedly thrown from 
Lechmere's Point. The fort here, which we are justified in 
considering the most important of all the American works, 
commanded the town of Boston as fully as the hills in Dor- 
chester did on that side. It was to resist the works here and 
on Cobble Hill that the British erected batteries on Beacon 
Hill and at Barton's Point in Boston, — the point where 
Craigie's Bridge leaves the shore. 

The following extracts from the letter of a British officer 
of rank, begun on the 3d of March, 1776, and continued in 
the form of a journal until the embarkation, gives an account 
of the bombardment and manner in which the American artil- 
lery was served by Colonel Knox : — 

" For the last six weeks, or near two months, we have been better 
amused than could possibly be expected in our situation. We had a 
theatre, we had balls, and there is actually a subscription on foot for 
a masquerade. England seems to have forgot us, and we endeavored 
to forget ourselves. But we were roused to a sense of our situation 
last night in a manner unpleasant enough. The rebels have been 
erecting for some time a bomb battery, and last night they began 
to play upon us. Two shells fell not far from me. One fell upon 
Colonel Monckton's house and broke all the windows, but luckily 
did not burst until it had crossed the street. Many houses were 
damaged, but no lives lost. What makes this matter more provoking 
is, that their barracks are so scattered and at such a distance that we 
cannot disturb them, although from a battery near the water-side 
they can reach us easily. 

" 4th. The rebel army is not brave, I believe, but it is conceded on 
all hands that their artillery officers are at least equal to our own. 
In the number of shells that they flung last night not above three 
failed. This morning we flung four, and three of them burst in 
the air. t 

" 5th. We underwent last night a severe cannonade, which dam- 
aged a number of houses and killed some men." 

The Eoyal Artillery endeavored for fourteen days unsuccess- 
fully to silence the American batteries on the east and west of 



lechmere's point. 183 

Boston. On the 6th orders were issued to embark the artillery 
and stores. Colonel Cleaveland writes as follows of the diffi- 
culties he encountered : — 

" The transports for the cannon, etc., which were ordered to the 
wharf were without a sailor on board and half stowed with lumber. 
At the same time most of my heavy cannon and all the field artil- 
lery, with a great quantity of arms, was to be brought in from 
Charlestown and other distant posts. I was obliged to send iron 
ordnance to supply their places, to keep up a fire on the enemy and 
prevent their breaking ground on Forster Hill (South Boston). On 
the fifth day most of the stores were on board, with the exception of 
four iron mortars and their beds, weighing near six tons each. With 
great difficulty I brought three of them from the battery, but on 
getting them on board the transport the blocks gave way, and a 
mortar fell into the sea, where I afterwards threw the other two." 

Four companies of the 3d Battalion of Artillery had joined 
before the troops left Boston. Until their arrival there was not 
a relief for the men who were kept constantly on duty. One 
hundred and fifty vessels were employed in transporting the 
army and stores to Halifax. 

It was related by Colonel Burbeck that the battery contain- 
ing the " Congress " mortar was placed under the command of 
Colonel David Mason. With this mortar Mason was ordered 
to set fire to Boston. His first shell was aimed at the Old 
South, and passed just above the steeple. The next shell was 
aimed more accurately at the roof, which it would doubtless 
have entered had not the mortar burst, grievously wounding 
the colonel and killing a number of his men. From this and 
similar accidents at the batteries, Boston escaped destruction. 
Through the inexperience of those who served them, four other 
mortars were burst during the bombardment which preceded 
the occupation of Dorchester Heights. 

I^arly in March Washington evidently expected an attack, 
as his dispositions were made with that view. That Lech- 
mere's Point was the object of his solicitude is clear from the 
precautions taken to guard that important post. Upon any 
alarm Patterson, whose regiment garrisoned No. 3, was ordered 



184 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

to march to the Point, leaving a strong guard in the work lead- 
ing to the bridge. Bond's was to garrison Cobble Hill, and 
Sargeant's the North, .South, and Middle Redoubts. Heath's, 
Sullivan's, Greene's, and Frye's brigades were, in rotation, 
to march a regiment an hour before day into the works at 
Lechmere's Point and Cobble Hill, — five companies to the 
former and three to the latter post, where they were to remain 
until sunrise. 

The fort was situated on the summit of the hill, which has 
lost considerable of its altitude, the southeast angle being about 
where the old Unitarian Church now stands, and the northern 
bastion on the spot now occupied by Thomas Hastings's house, 
on the corner of 4th and Otis Streets ; the latter street is laid 
out through the fort. A breastwork parallel with the creek and 
flanking it extended some distance down the hill. 

Lechmere's Point obtained an unenviable reputation as the 
place of execution for Middlesex. Many criminals were hung 
here ; among others the notorious Mike Martin, sometimes 
called "the last of the highwaymen." 

Michael Martin, alias Captain Lightfoot, after a checkered 
career as a highway robber in Ireland, his native country, and 
in Scotland, became a fugitive to America in 1819, landing at 
Salem, where he obtained employment as a farm laborer of 
Elias Hasket Derby. A life of honest toil not being congenial, 
Martin, after passing through numerous vicissitudes, again took 
to the road, making Canada the theatre of his exploits. 

At length, after committing many robberies in Vermont and 
New Hampshire, Martin arrived at Boston, and at once com- 
menced his bold operations. His first and last victim here was 
Major John Bray of Boston, who was stopped and robbed by 
Martin as he was returning to town in his chaise over the 
Medford turnpike. Martin had learned that there was to be 
a dinner-party at Governor Brooks's house on that afternoon, 
and, with native shrewdness, had guessed that some of the 
guests might be worth plundering. 

Martin fled. He was pursued and arrested in bed at Spring- 
field. After being removed to East Cambridge jail, he was 



lechmere's point. 185 

tried, convicted of highway robbery, and sentenced to be 
hanged. This was the first trial that had occurred under the 
statute for such an offence, and naturally created great interest. 
The knight of the road was perfectly cool during his trial, and, 
after sentence was pronounced, observed : " Well, that is the 
worst you can do for me." 

While awaiting his fate, Martin made a desperate effort to 
escape from prison. He had succeeded in filing off the chains 
by which he was secured, so that he could remove them at 
pleasure ; and one morning when Mr. Coolidge, the turnkey, 
came to his cell, the prisoner struck him a savage blow with his 
irons, and, leaving him senseless on the floor, rushed into the 
prison yard. By throwing himself repeatedly and with great 
force against the strong oaken gate, Martin at last emerged into 
the street, but was,' after a short flight, recaptured and returned 
to his cell. After this attempt he was guarded with greater 
vigilance, and suffered the penalty of his crimes. 

Of the two half-moon batteries which Washington caused to 
be thrown up in November, between Lechmere's Point and the 
mouth of Charles Eiver, the vestiges of one only are remaining. 
They were not designed for permanent occupation, but only for 
occasional use, to repel an attempt by the enemy to land. The 
good taste of the authorities of Cambridge has preserved the 
little semicircular battery situated on the farthest reach of firm 
ground on the Cambridge shore. It is protected by a hand- 
some iron fence, composed of military emblems, and is called 
Fort Washington, — a name rather too pretending for a work 
of this class. Looking towards Boston, we see in front of us 
the southerly side of the Common, where the enemy had 
erected works. The battery has three embrasures, and on a 
tall flagstaff is the inscription : — 

" 1775 Fort Washington 1857 
This battery thrown up by Washington Nov. 1775." 

Struck with the perfect condition of the earthwork, we found 
upon inquiry that the city of Cambridge had, about fifteen 
years ago, thoroughly restored the rampart, which was then in 



186 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX.. 

good preservation. The guns now mounted there were, at that 
time, furnished by the United States government. The situ- 
ation is very bleak and exposed, and the cold north-winds must 
have pierced the poor fellows through and through as they 
delved in the frozen gravel of the beach to construct this work. 
The other battery was probably on the little hill where the 
powder-magazine now stands. 

Having arrived at the limit of the exterior or oifensive lines 
between the Mystic and Charles, we may briefly sketch the re- 
maining positions on this side, constructed for defence only, in 
the earlier stages of the investment. These lines connected 
Prospect Hill with Charles River by a series of detached forts 
and redoubts. Of the former there were three, numbered from 
right to left. No. 1 was on the bank of Charles River, at the 
point where it makes a southerly bend. Next was a redoubt 
situated a short distance south of the main street leading to the 
Colleges, and in the angle formed by Putnam Street. The emi- 
nence is being levelled as rapidly as possible, and no marks of 
the work remain. Connected with this redoubt were the Cam- 
bridge lines, called No. 2, a series of redans, six in number, joined 
together by curtains. These were carried across the road, and 
up the slope of what was then called Butler's, since known as N 
Dana Hill, terminating at their northerly extremity in another 
redoubt, situated on the crest and in the angle of Broadway and 
Maple Avenue, on the Greenough estate. The soil being a 
hard clay, the earth to build this work was carried from the 
lower ground on the Hovey estate to the top of the hill. To 
the north of Cambridge Street a breastwork was continued in 
a northeasterly direction through Mr. C. M. Hovey's nursery. 
Cannon-shot and other vestiges of military occupation have 
been unearthed there by Mr. Hovey. A hundred yards behind 
this line, but of less extent, was another rampart of earth, hav- 
ing a tenaille, or inverted redan, in the centre. The right flank 
rested on the main road, which divided the more advanced 
work nearly at right angles. Remains of these works have 
existed within twenty-five years. 

Continuing to trace the lines eastward, — their general direc- 



Putnam's headquarters. 187 

tion being from east to west, — we find that two little half- 
moons were thrown up on each side of the Charlestown road at 
the point where it crossed the west branch of Willis's Creek. 

No. 3 lay to the southwest of Prospect Hill, a little south of 
the point where the main road from Charlestown (Washington 
Street) was intersected by that from Medford and Menotomy, 
and which pass it was designed to defend. It was a strong, 
well-constructed work, and should be placed very near Union 
Square, in Somerville. These defences were, for the most part, 
planned by Eichard Gridley, the veteran engineer, assisted by 
his son and by Captain Josiah Waters, of Boston, and Captain 
Jonathan Baldwin, of Brookfield, afterwards colonel of engi- 
neers. Colonel Knox occasionally lent his aid before receiving 
his rank in the army. 

In coming from Charlestown or Lechmere's Point by the old 
county road hitherto described, and before the day of bridges 
had created what is now Cambridgeport out of the marshes, the 
first object of interest was the farm of Ealph Inman, a well-to- 
do, retired merchant of the capital. His mansion-house and 
outbuildings formed a small hamlet, and stood in the angle of 
the road as it turned sharp to the right and stretched away to 
the Colleges. 

The world would not have cared to know who Ealph Inman 
was had not his house become interwoven with the history of 
the siege as the headquarters of that rough, fiery genius, Israel 
Putnam. It could not have been better situated, in a military 
view, for Old Put's residence. The General's own regiment 
and most of the Connecticut troops lay encamped near at hand 
in Inman's green fields and fragrant pine woods. It was but a 
short gallop to the commander-in-chiefs, or to the posts on the 
river. Eemove all the houses that now intervene between 
Inman Street and the Charles, and we see that the gallant old 
man had crouched as near the enemy as it was possible for him 
to do, and lay like a watch-dog at the door of the American 
lines. 

Ealph Inman was, of course, a royalist. Nature does not 
more certainly abhor a vacuum than does your man of sub- 



188 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

stance a revolution. Strong domestic ties bound him to his 
allegiance. He was of the Church of England too, and his 
associates were cast in the same tory mould with himself. He 
had been a merchant in Boston in 1764, and the agent of Sir 
Charles Frankland when that gentleman went abroad. He 
kept his coach and his liveried servants for state occasions, and 
the indispensable four-wheeled chaise universally affected by 
the gentry of his day for more ordinary use. If he was not a 
Scotsman by descent, we have not read aright the meaning of 
the thistle, which Inman loved to see around him. 

The house had a plain outside, unostentatious, but speak- 
ing eloquently of solid comfort and good cheer within. It 
was of wood, of three stories, with a pitched roof. From his 
veranda Inman had an unobstructed outlook over the mead- 
ows, the salt marshes, and across the bay, to the town of 
Boston. What really claim our admiration about this estate 
were the trees by which it was glorified, and of which a few 
noble elms have been spared. Approaching such a house, as it 
lay environed by shrubbery and screened from the noonday 
sun by its giant guardians, with the tame pigeons perched 
upon the parapet and the domestic fowls cackling a noisy re- 
frain in the barn-yard, you would have said, "Here is good 
old-fashioned thrift and hospitality; let us enter," and you 
would not have' done ill to let instant execution follow the 
happy thought. 

Besides his tory neighbors — and at the time of which we 
write what we now call Old Cambridge was parcelled out 
among a dozen of these — Inman was a good deal visited by 
the loyal faction of the town. The officers of his Majesty's 
army and navy liked to ride out to Inman's to dine or sup, and 
one of them lost his heart there. 

John Linzee, captain of H. M. ship Beaver, met with Sukey 
Inman (Balph's eldest daughter) in some royalist coterie, — 
as like as not at the house of her bosom friend, Lucy Flucker, 
— and found his heart pierced through and through by her 
bright glances. He struck his flag, and, being incapable of 
resistance, became Sukey's lawful prize. He came with Dal- 



PUTNAM'S HEADQUARTERS. 189 

rymple, Montague, and his brother officers ostensibly to sip 
Ealph's mulled port or Vidania, but really, as we may believe, 
to see the daughter of the house. For some unknown cause 
the father did not favor Linzee's suit. There was an aunt 
whom Sukey visited in town, and to whose house the gallant 
captain had the open sesame, but who manoeuvred, as only 
aunts in 1772 (and they have not forgot their cunning) knew 
how, to keep the lovers apart. 

But John Linzee was no faint-heart, and he married Sukey 
Inman. George Inman, her brother, entered the British army. 
Linzee commanded the Falcon at the battle of Bunker Hill, 
where he did us all the mischief he could, and figured else- 
where on our coasts. In 1789 he happened again to cast 
anchor in Boston harbor, and opened his batteries this time 
with a peaceful salute to the famous stars and stripes flying 
from the Castle. It is well known that Prescott, the historian, 
married a granddaughter of Captain Linzee. 

The interior of Inman's house possessed no striking features. 
It was roomy, but so low-studded that you could easily reach 
the ceilings with your hand when standing upright. The deep 
fireplaces, capacious cupboards, and secret closets were all 
there. Our last visit to the mansion was to find it divided 
asunder, and being rolled away to another part of the town, 
where we have no wish to follow. It was not a pleasant sight 
to see this old house thus mutilated, with its halls agape and 
its cosey bedchambers literally turned out of doors, — a veri- 
table wreck ashore. 

Inman was arrested in 1776. He had been of the king's 
council and an addresser of Hutchinson. He became a refugee 
in Boston, and his mansion passed into the custody of the Pro- 
vincial Congress, who assigned it to General Putnam. 

Putnam, as we remember, commanded the centre of the 
American position, comprising the works and camps in Cam- 
bridge. The commission of major-general was then no sine- 
cure, and we may opine th$t Old Put had his hands busily 
employed. Those long summer days of 1775 were full of care 
and toil, but the summer evenings were not less glorious than 



190 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

now, and the General must have often sat on the refugee's 
lawn, watching the camp-fires of the investing army, or tracing 
in the heavens the course of some fiery ambassador from the 
hostile shore. 

One day while Putnam was on Prospect Hill he summoned 
all his captains to headquarters. It was stated to them that a 
hazardous service was contemplated, for which one of their 
number was desired to volunteer. A candidate stepped for- 
ward, eager to signalize himself. A draft of six men from each 
company was then made. At the appointed time the chosen 
band appeared before the General's quarters, fully armed and 
equipped. Old Put complimented their appearance and com- 
mended their spirit. He then ordered every man to lay aside 
his arms for an axe, and directed their march to a neighboring 
swamp to cut fascines. 

When Putnam was with Amherst in Canada, that general, to 
his great annoyance, found that the French had a vessel of 
twelve guns stationed on a lake he meant to pass over with his 
army. While pondering upon the unexpected dilemma he was 
accosted by Putnam with the remark, " General, that ship must 
be taken." " Ay," says Amherst, " I 'd give the world she 
were taken." " I '11 take her," says Old Put. " Give me some 
wedges, a beetle, and a few men of my own choice." Amherst, 
though unable to see how the ship was to be taken by such 
means, willingly complied. At night Putnam took a boat, and, 
gaining the ship's stern unperceived, with a few quick blows 
drove his wedges in such a manner as to disable the rudder. 
In the morning the vessel, being unmanageable, came ashore, 
and was taken. 

With the single exception of Washington there is not a 
name on the roll of the Eevolution more honored in the popu- 
lar heart than that of Putnam. He was emphatically a man of 
action and of purpose. At what time he received his famous 
sobriquet we are unable to say, but he was Old Put at Cam- 
bridge, and will be to posterity. 

We can imagine the young fledglings of the army calling the 
then gray-haired veteran by this familiar nickname, but when 



putnam's headquarters. 191 

it comes to the dignified commander-in-chief, it shows us not 
only that he had a grim sense of the humorous, but that he was 
capable of relaxing a little from his habitual dignity of thought 
and expression. " I suppose," says Joseph Reed, in a letter to 
Washington, — "I suppose ' Old Put ' was to command the de- 
tachment intended for Boston on the 5th instant, as I do not 
know of any officer but himself who could have been depended 
on for so hazardous a service." And the General replies : " The 
four thousand men destined for Boston on the 5th, if the minis- 
terialists had attempted our works at Dorchester or the lines at 
Eoxbury, were to have been headed by Old Put." 

He had nearly attained threescore when the war broke out, 
but the fires which a life filled with extraordinary adventures 
had not dimmed still burned brightly in the old man's breast. 
Only think of a sexagenarian so stirred at the scent of battle as 
to mount his horse and gallop a hundred and fifty miles to the 
scene of conflict. Whether we remember him in the wolfs 
lair, at the Indian torture, or fighting for his country, we 
recognize a spirit which knew not fear and never blenched at 
danger. 

If the General sometimes swore big oaths, — and we are not 
disposed to dispute it, — they were, in a measure, inocuous ; 
such, for example, as Uncle Toby used at the bedside of the 
dying lieutenant. Your camp is a sad leveller, and though the 
Continental officers could not have had a more correct example 
than their illustrious chief, yet it was much the fashion among 
gentlemen of quality of that day, and especially such as em- 
braced the military profession, to indulge themselves in a little 
profanity. Say what we will, our Washingtons and our Have- 
locks are the vara avis of the camp. We have history for it 
that " our army swore terribly in Flanders." We believe the 
Revolution furnishes a similar example ; and we fear the Great 
Rebellion tells the same story. 

It was perhaps to remedy this tendency, and that the 
spiritual wants of the soldiery might not suffer, that a prayer 
was composed by Rev. Abiel Leonard, chaplain to General Put- 
nam's regiment, and printed by the Messrs. Hall in Harvard 



192 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

College in 1775. Putnam was no courtier, but brusque, hearty, 
and honest. 
been his own 



and honest. The words attributed to the Moor might have 



" Rude am I in my speech, 
And little blessed with the set phrase of peace ; 
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith, 
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used 
Their dearest action in the tented field. " 

Putnam's summer costume was a waistcoat without sleeves 
for his upper garment. Across his brawny shoulders was 
thrown a broad leathern belt, from which depended a hanger, 
and thus he appeared as he bestrode his horse among the 
camps at Cambridge. Those sneering Marylanders scouted this 
carelessness in the bluff old captain's attire, and said he was 
much better to head a band of sicklemen or ditchers than 
musketeers. 

The day following the battle of Bunker Hill, a young lady 
who had been assisting Dr. Eustis in the care of our wounded 
wished to send a letter to her parents in Boston. Her heart 
was full of anguish at the death of Warren, and her pen un- 
skilled in cold set phrase. The officer at the lines to whom 
she handed her missive, in order that it might go in with the 
first flag, returned it, saying, "It is too d — d saucy." The lady 
went to General Ward, who advised her to soften the expres- 
sions a little. General Putnam, who was sitting by, read the 
letter attentively, and exclaimed, " It shall go in if I send it at 
the mouth of a cannon ! " He demanded a pass -for it, and the 
fair writer received an answer from her friends within forty- 
' eight hours. 

Putnam's old sign of General Wolfe, which he displayed 
when a tavern-keeper at Brooklyn, Connecticut, is still pre- 
served. 

Before we depart from Cambridgeport the reader will permit 
us a pilgrimage to the homes of Margaret Fuller and Washing- 
ton Allston. Margaret was born in a house now standing in 
Cherry Street, on the corner of Eaton Street, with three splen- 
did elms in front, planted by her father on her natal day. The 



putnam's headquarters. 193 

largo square building, placed on a brick basement, is removed 
about twenty feet back from the street. It is of wood, of three 
stories, has a veranda at the front reached by a flight of steps, 
and a large L, and now appears to be inhabited by several 
families. Miss Fuller went to Edward Dickinson's school, situ- 
ated in Main Street, nearly opposite Inman, where Eev. S. K. 
Lothrop and 0. W. Holmes were her classmates. Her father, 
Timothy Fuller, and herself are still remembered by the elder 
people wending their way on a Sabbath morn to the old brick 
church of Dr. Gannett. 

Allston lived in a house at the corner of Magazine and 
Auburn Streets. His studio was nearly opposite his dwelling, 
in the rear of the Baptist church, in a building erected for 
him. It was confidently asserted by Americans in England, 
that had Allston remained there he might have reached a high 
position in the Eoyal Academy ; but he was devotedly attached 
to his country and to a choice circle of highly prized friends at 
home. 

Allston realized whatever prices he chose to ask for his pic- 
tures. Stuart only demanded $ 150 for a kit-kat portrait and 
$ 100 for a bust, but Allston's prices were much higher. Bern" 
asked by a lady if he did not require rest after finishing a work, 
he replied : " No, I only require a change. After I finish a 
portrait I paint a landscape, and then a portrait again." He 
delighted in his art. 

He was received in Boston on his return from England with 
every mark of affection and respect, and his society was courted 
in the most intelligent and cultivated circles. Even the young 
ladies, the belles of the period, appreciated the polish and 
charm of his manners and address, and were well pleased when 
he made choice of one of them as a partner in a cotillon, then 
the fashionable dance at evening parties. 

Besides his immediate and gifted family connections, Allston 
was much attached to Isaac P. Davis and Loammi Baldwin, 
the eminent engineer. The painting of " Elijah in tfie Wilder- 
ness" remained at the house of the former in Boston until it 
was purchased by Labouchiere, who saw it there. It has been 



194 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

repurchased by Mrs. S. Hooper, and is now in the Athenaeum 
Gallery. jNTo distinguished stranger went away from Boston 
without seeing Allston ; among others he was visited by Mrs. 
Jameson, who was taken by the artist to his studio, where lie 
exhibited to her several of his unlinished works and sketches. 
It was a most interesting interview. 

Allston's "Jeremiah," an immense canvas, with figures larger 
than life, was ordered by Miss Gibbs. " Saul and the Witch 
of Endor" and "A Bookseller and a Poet" were painted for 
Hon. T. H. Perkins. " Miriam on the Shore of the Eed Sea," 
a magnificent work, with figures nearly life-size, was executed 
for Hon. David Sears. The " Angel appearing to Peter in 
Prison " was painted for Dr. Hooper. A landscape and exqui- 
site ideal portrait, finished for Hon. Jonathan Phillips, were 
destroyed in the great fire of 1872. "Rosalie," an ideal por- 
trait, was painted for Hon. ~N. Appleton. " The Valentine," 
another ideal subject, became the property of Professor Ticknor. 
" Amy Eobsart " was done for John A. Lowell, Esq. Besides 
these the painter executed works for Hon. Jonathan Mason, ~N. 
Amory, F. C. Gray, Eichard Sullivan, Loammi Baldwin, — for 
whom the exquisite " Elorimel " of Spenser was painted, — 
Theodore Lyman, Samuel A. Eliot, Warren Dutton, and others. 
This catalogue will serve to show who were Allston's patrons. 
For each subject the price varied from seven to fifteen hundred 
dollars. About 1830 a number of Boston gentlemen advanced 
the artist $ 10,000 for his unfinished " Belshazzar." 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 195 



CHAPTER IX. 

A DAY AT HARVARD. 

" Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say- 
Have you not seen us walking every day ? 
Was there a tree about which did not know 
The love betwixt us two ? " 

CAMBRIDGE seems to realize the injunction of a sagacious 
statesman of antiquity : " If you would have your city 
loved by its citizens, you must make it lovely." 

The location of this settlement was, according to Governor 
Dudley, due to apprehensions of the French, which caused the 
colonists to seek an inland situation. They decided to call it 
Newtown, but in 1638 the name was changed in honor of the 
old English university town. Cambridge was made a port 
of entry in 1805, hence Cambridgeport. It became a city 
in 1846. 

The broad, level plain where Winthrop, Dudley, Bradstreet, 
and the rest bivouacked in the midst of the stately forest in 
1631, and looked upon it as 

" That wild where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot "; 

where they posted their trusty servants, with lighted match, at 
the verge of the encampment, and the moon's rays glittered on 
steel cap and corselet ; where they nightly folded their herds 
within the chain of sentinels, until they had hedged themselves 
round about with palisades ; where they repeated their simple 
prayers and sung their evening hymn ; where learning erected 
her first temple in the wilderness ; and where a host of armed 
men sprung forth, Minerva-like, ready for action, — the abode 
of the Muses, the domain of Letters, — this is our present walk 
among the habitations of the living and the dead. 



196 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Old William Wood, author of the first printed account of 
Massachusetts, says : — 

" Newtown was first intended for a city, but upon more serious 
consideration, it was thought not so fit, being too far from the sea ; 
being the greatest inconvenience it hath. This is one of the neatest 
and best compacted towns in New England, having many fair struc- 
tures, with many handsome contrived streets. The inhabitants most 
of them are very rich." 

Old Cambridge a hundred years after its settlement was, as 
we have mentioned, the peculiar abode of a dozen wealthy and 
aristocratic families. Their possessions were as extensive as 
their purses were long and their loyalty approved. They were 
of the English Church, were intermarried, and had every tie — 
social position, blood, politics, religion, and we know not what 
else — to bind them together in a distinct community. The old 
Puritan stock had mostly dispersed. Many had passed into 
Connecticut, others into Boston ; and still others, finding their 
ancient limits much too narrow, had, in the language of that 
day, " sat down " in what are now Arlington and Lexington, 
and were long known distinctively as the " farmers." These 
latter, with the fragment still adhering to the skirts of the an- 
cient village, had their meeting-house and the College, which 
they still kept free from heresy, — not, however, without con- 
tinual watchfulness, nor without attempts on the part of the 
Episcopalians to obtain a foothold. 

It was believed before the Eevolution that the Ministry 
seriously contemplated the firmer establishment of the Church 
of England by creating bishoprics in the colonies, — a measure 
which was warmly opposed by the Congregational clergy in and 
out of the pulpit. Tithes and ceremonials were the bugbears 
used to stimulate the opposition and arouse the prejudices of 
the populace. Controversy ran high, and caricatures appeared, 
in one of which the expected bishop is seen taking refuge on 
board a departing vessel, while a mob on the wharf is pushing 
the bark from shore and pelting the unfortunate ecclesiastic 
with treatises of national law. 

The large square wooden house which stands on Main 




i^sSS I 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 197 

Street, directly opposite Gore Hall, was built by the Rev. East 
Apthorp, D. D., son of Charles Apthorp, an eminent Boston 
merchant of Welsh descent. It was probably erected in 1761, 
the year in which Dr. Apthorp was settled in Cambridge, and 
was regarded, on account of its elegance and proximity to the 
University, with peculiar distrust by Mayhew and his orthodox 
contemporaries. It was thought that if the ministerial plan 
was carried 'out Dr. Apthorp had an eye to the Episcopate, and 
his mansion was alluded to as " the palace of one of the humble 
successors of the Apostles." So uncomfortable did his antag- 
onists render his ministry, that Dr. Apthorp gave up his charge 
and removed to England in the latter part of 1764. 

The pleasant old house seems next to have been occupied by 
John Borland, a merchant of the capital, who abandoned it on 
the breaking out of hostilities, and took refuge in Boston, where 
he died the same year (1775) from the effects of a fall. 

Under the new order of things the mansion became the 
headquarters of the Connecticut troops, with Old Put at their 
head, on their arrival at Cambridge, and Putnam probably re- 
mained there until after the battle of Bunker Hill. It con- 
tinued a barrack, occupied by three companies, until finally 
cleared and taken possession of by the Committee of Safety, 
the then executive authority of the province. 

Its next inhabitant was "John Burgoyne, Esquire, lieu- 
tenant-general of his Majesty's armies in America, colonel 
of the queen's regiment of light dragoons, governor of Port 
William in North Britain, one of the representatives of the 
Commons of Great Britain, and commanding an army and fleet 
on an expedition from Canada," etc., etc., etc. Such is a faith- 
ful enumeration of the titles of this illustrious Gascon as pre- 
fixed to his bombastic proclamation, and which must have left 
the herald breathless long ere he arrived at the "Whereas." 
For a pithy history of the campaign which led to Burgoyne's 
enforced residence here, commend us to the poet : — 

" Burgoyne gaed up, like spur an' whip, 
Till Frasrr brave did fa', man ; 
Then lost Ins way ae misty day, 
In Saratoga shaw, man." 



198 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The house fronts towards Mount Auburn Street, and over- 
looked the river when Cambridge was yet a conservative, old- 
fashioned country town. That street was then the high-road, 
which wound around the foot of the garden, making a sharp 
curve to the north where it is now joined by Harvard Street. 
It was, therefore, no lack of respect to the Eev. Edward Holy- 
oke, the inhabitant of the somewhat less pretending dwelling 
of the College presidents, that caused Dr. Apthorp to turn his 
back in his direction. 

The true front bears a strong family resemblance to the 
Vassall-Longfellow mansion, the design of which was perhaps 
followed by the architect of this. The wooden balustrade 
which surmounted, and at the same time relieved, the bare 
outline of the roof was swept away in the great September gale 
of 1815. A third story, which makes the house look like an 
ill-assorted pair joined in matrimonial bands for life, is said to 
be the work of Mr. Borland, who required additional space for 
his household slaves. The line of the old cornice shows where 
the roof was separated from the original structure. The posi- 
tion of the outbuildings, now huddled together in close con- 
tact with the house, has been changed by the stress of those 
circumstances which have from time to time denuded the estate 
of portions of its ancient belongings. The clergyman's grounds 
extended to Holyoke Street on the one hand, and for an equal 
distance on the other, and were entered by the carriage-drive 
from the side of Harvard Street. 

As it now stands, about equidistant from the avenues in 
front and rear, it seems a patrician of the old regime, withdraw- 
ing itself instinctively from contact with its upstart neighbors. 
The house which John Adams's apprehensions converted into a 
Lambeth Palace was, happily for its occupant, never the seat 
of an Episcopal see, or it might have shared the fate with which 
Wat Tyler's bands visited the ancient castellated residence of 
the Archbishops of Canterbury. 

"We found the interior of the house worthy of inspection. 
There is a broad, generous hall, with its staircase railed in with 
the curiously wrought balusters, which the taste of the times 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 199 

required to be different in form and design. A handsome re- 
ception-room opens at the left, a library at the right. The for- 
mer was the state apartment, and a truly elegant one. The 
ceilings are high, and the wainscots, panels, and mouldings 
were enriched with carvings. The fireplace has still the blue 
Dutch tiles with their Scripture allegories, and the ornamental 
fire-back is in its place. 

Directly above is the state chamber, a luxurious apartment 
within and without. We say without, for we looked down 
upon the gardens, with their box-bordered walks and their un- 
folding beauties of leaf and flower, — the fruit-trees dressed in 
bridal blossoms, the Pyrus Japonica in its gorgeous crimson 
bloom, with white-starred Spiraea and Deutzia gracilis en- 
shrouded in their fragrant mists. 

" A brave old house ! a garden full of bees, 
Large dropping poppies, and queen hollyhocks, 
With butterflies for crowns, — tree peonies, 
And pinks and goldilocks." 

In this bedchamber, which wooed the slumbers of the 
sybarite Burgoyne, the walls are formed in panels, ornamented 
with paper representing fruit, landscaj)es, ruins, etc., — a species 
of decoration both rare and costly at the period when the house 
was built. Mr. Jonathan Simpson, Jr., who married a daughter 
of Mr. Borland, became the proprietor after the old war. Mrs. 
Manning, the present occupant, has lived to see many changes 
from her venerable roof, and the prediction that her prospect 
would never be impaired answered by the overtopping walls of 
contiguous buildings. 

We crave the reader's indulgence while we return for a 
moment upon our own footsteps to Dana Hill, upon which we 
have hitherto traced the defensive lines. The family for whom 
the eminence is named have been distinguished in law, politics, 
and letters, — from Richard Dana, of pre-Revolutionary fame, 
to his descendants of to-day. 

The Dana mansion, surrounded by beautiful grounds, for- 
merly stood some two hundred feet back from the present 
Main Street, and between Ellery and Dana Streets. It was a 



200 HISTOKIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



wooden house, of two stories, not unlike in general appearance 
that of Mr. Longfellow, but was many years since destroyed 
by fire. 

Judge Francis Dana, a law-student with Trowbridge, and 
who was succeeded as chief justice of Massachusetts by The- 
ophilus Parsons, filled many positions of high trust and respon- 
sibility both at home and abroad. The name of Ellery Street 
happily recalls that of the family of Mrs. Judge Dana. With 
the career of Richard H. Dana, poet and essayist, son of the 
judge, and with that of the younger Eichard H. and Edmund 
his brother, grandsons of the jurist, the public are familiar. 

When William Ellery Channing was an undergraduate he 
resided in the family mansion of the Danas, the wife of the 
chief justice being his maternal aunt. It 
is said that, although half a mile distant 
from college, he was always punctual at 
prayers, which were then at six o'clock 
through the whole year. 
T^7 Between Arrow and Mount Auburn 
Streets was the estate of David Phips, the 
sheriff of Middlesex, colonel of the gover- 
nor's troop and son of Lieutenant-Governor 
Spencer Phips. A proscribed royalist, his 
house, some time a hospital, was afterwards 
the residence of William Wintkrop, and 
is now standing in fair preservation. The 
estate is more interesting to the antiquary 
as that of Major-General Daniel Gookin, Indian superintendent 
in the time of Eliot, and one of the licensers of the printing- 
press in 16G2, — an office supposed not to have been too arduous 
in his time, and not considered compatible with liberty in our 
own. What this old censor would have said to many of the 
so-called respectable publications of to-day is not a matter of 
doubtful conjecture. It was under Gookin's roof, and perhaps 
on this very spot, that Generals Goffe and Whalley were shel- 
tered until the news of the Restoration and Act of Indemnity 
caused them to seek another asylum. 




A DAY AT HARVARD. 201 

The large, square wooden house at the corner of Harvard and 
Quincy Streets, and which stands upon the extreme limit of 
the College grounds in this direction, was the first observatory 
at Harvard. It is at present the residence of Eev. Dr. Pea- 
body, chaplain of the College. George Phillips Bond, subse- 
quently professor of astronomy, was a skilful optician, who 
had, from innate love of the science of the heavens, established 
a small observatory of his own in Dorchester, where he pur- 
sued his investigations. He was invited to Harvard, and, with 
the aid of such instruments as could be obtained, founded in 
this house what has since grown to be a credit to the Univer- 
sity and to America. He had the assistance of some of the 
professors, and of President Hill and others. Triangular points 
were established in connection with this position at Milton Hill 
and at Bunker Hill. It was the intention to have erected an 
observatory on Milton Hill, but difficulties of a financial char- 
acter interposed, and President Quincy purchased Craigie Hill, 
the present excellent location. 

We are now trenching upon classic ground. We have passed 
the sites of the old parsonage of the first parish, built in 1670, 
and in which all the ministers, from Mr. Mitchell to Dr. 
Holmes, resided, taken down in 1843 ; the traditional Fellows' 
Orchard, on a corner of which now stands Gore Hall ; the 
homes of Stephen Sewall, first Hancock Professor, and of the 
Professors Wigglesworth, long since demolished or removed, to 
find all these former landmarks included within the College 
grounds. 

If the reader obeys our instincts he will not fail to turn 
aside and wond his way to the Library, erected in 1839-42, 
through the munificence of Governor Gore. Within the hall 
are the busts of many of 

" Those dead but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule 
Our spirits from their urns." 

The cabinets of precious manuscripts, some of them going 
before the art of printing, and almost putting it to blush with 
their beautifully illuminated pages ; the alcoves, inscribed with 
9* 



202 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the benefactors' names, and garnered with the thoughts and 
deeds of centuries, — each a storehouse of many busy brains, 
and each contributing to the aggregate of human knowledge • — 
all these seemed like so many ladened hives of human patience, 
industry, and, perchance, of ill-requited toil. 




GORE HALL, 1873. 

Here is your dainty fellow in rich binding, glittering in gold 
title, and swelling with importance, — a parvenu among books. 
You see it is but little consulted, — the verdict of condemna- 
tion. Here is a Body of Divinity, once belonging to Samuel 
Parris, first minister of Danvers, in whose family witchcraft 
had its beginning in 1692. His name is on the fly-leaf, the 
ink scarcely faded, while his bones have long since mouldered. 
Truly, we apprehend such bulky bodies must have sadly lacked 
soul ! Many of Hollis's books are on the shelves, beautifully 
bound, and stamped with the owner's opinions of their merits 
by placing the owl, his family emblem, upside down when he 
wished to express his disapproval. 

Somehow we cannot take the book of an author, known 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 203 

or unknown, from its accustomed place without becoming as 
deeply contemplative as was ever Hamlet over the skull of 
Yorick, or without thinking that each sentence may have been 
distilled from an overworked, thought-compressed brain. But 
if one laborer faints and falls out of the ranks, twenty arise to 
take his place, and still the delvers in the mine follow the 
alluring vein, and still the warfare against ignorance goes on. 

The library was originally deposited in Old Harvard, which 
was destroyed by fire on the 24th January, 1764, and with it 
the College library, consisting of about five thousand volumes 
of printed books and many invaluable manuscripts. The 
philosophical apparatus was also lost. This was a severe and 
irreparable blow to the College, for the books given by John 
Harvard, the founder, Sir Kenelm Digby, Sir John Maynard, 
Dr. Lightfoot, Dr. Gale, Bishop Berkely, and the first Thomas 
Hollis, together with the Greek and Hebrew types belonging 
to the College, perished in the flames. Only a single volume 
of the donation of Harvard remains from the fire. Its title is 
"Douname's Christian Warfare." 

A picture of the library as it existed before this accident is 
given by a visitor to the College in 1750 : — 

" The library is very large and well stored with books but much 
abused by frequent use. The repository of curiosities which was not 
over well stock'd. Saw 2 Human Skellitons a peice Neigro's hide 
tan'd &c. Homes and bones of land and sea animals, fishes, skins 
of different animals stuff' d &c. The skull of a Famous Indian 
Warrior, where was also the moddell of the Boston Man of Warr of 
40 Gunns compleatly rig'd &c." 

We can only indulge in vain regrets that so many valuable 
collections relative to New England history have been swept 
away. The fire which destroyed Boston Town House in 
1747; the mobs which pillaged the house of Governor Hutchin- 
son, and also the Admiralty archives ; the mutilation of the 
invaluable Prince library stored in the tower of the Old 
South, of the destruction of which Dr. Belknap related that he 
was a witness, and which was used from day to clay to kindle 



204 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the fires of the vandal soldiery ; the plunder of the Court of 
Common Pleas by the same lawless soldiery, — all have added 
to the havoc among our early chronicles, which the conflagra- 
tion at Harvard assisted to make a lamentably conspicuous 
funeral-pyre to learning. 

After the fire the library was renewed by contributions, 
among the most valuable of which was the gift of a consider- 
able part of Governor Bernard's private library. John Han- 
cock was the donor, in 1772, of a large number of books, and 
also of a carpet for the floor and paper for the walls. The 
library and apparatus were packed up on the day before the 
battle of Bunker Hill, under the care of Samuel Phillips, 
assisted by Thompson, afterwards Count Eumford, and re- 
moved, first to Andover, and a part subsequently to Concord, 
to which place the government and many of the students had 
retired. Many of the books, however, were probably scattered 
in private hands, as we find President Langdon advertising for 
the return of the apparatus and library to Mr. Winthrop, the 
librarian, early in 1778. 

Here are works on which the writers have expended a 
lifetime of patient research, and which are highly prized by 
scholars ; but their laborious composition has failed to meet 
such reward as would keep even the body and soul of an author 
together. And here are yet others that have struck the fickle 
chord of transient popular favor, requiting their makers with 
golden showers, and perhaps advancement to high places of 
honor. In our own clay it is literary buffoonery that pays the 
best. Once master the secret how " to set the table in a roar," 
be it never so wisely, and we warrant you success. Perhaps it 
is because, as a people, we laugh too little that we are willing 
to pay so well for a little of the scanty wit and a good deal of 
the chalk and sawdust of the circus. 

Among other treasures which the library contains is a copy 
of Eliot's Indian Bible, the first Bible printed on the continent 
of America, perhaps in the Indian College, certainly on Samuel 
Green's Cambridge press, though where this press was set up 
diligent inquiry has failed to enlighten us. In 1720, as we 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 205 

gather from an English authority, the press was kept either in 
Harvard or Stoughton, the only two buildings then existing. 

Last, but not least, we have chanced on Father Eale's Dic- 
tionary of the Abenaquis, captured, with the priest's strong- 
box, at Norridgewock, in 1721. Sebastian Eale exercised 
great influence over the eastern Indians, among whom he re- 
sided after his coming to Canada in 1689. This influence, 
which was exerted on behalf of the French, by exciting the 
Indians to commit depredations upon the frontier settlements 
of the English, caused an attempt to be made to seize Eale at 
his house at Norridgewock by a party led by Colonel West- 
brook. The priest escaped, but his strong-box was taken, and 
in it were found the letters of M. de Vaudreuil, Governor of 
Canada, which exhibited Eale in the light of a political agent. 

This attempt was retaliated by the Indians, and Lovewell's 
War ensued. In 1724 Norridgewock was surprised and Eale 
killed, refusing, it is alleged, the quarter offered him. Eale was 
slain near a cross which he had erected near the middle of the 
village, and with him some Indians who endeavored to defend 
him. The father went boldly forth to meet his enemies, and 
died, like a martyr, at the foot of the cross. He was scalped, 
his chapel destroyed, and the plate and furniture of the altar, 
with the devotional flag, brought away as trophies. The strong- 
box passed into the possession of the family of Colonel West- 
brook, the commander of the Eastern forces. The story is 
harrowing, but true. 

The guardian of this treasury of thought, John Langdon 
Sibley, has presided over it since 1856, with previous service 
as assistant for many years after his graduation in 1825. Him- 
self a scholar, and an author whose energies have been chiefly 
exerted in behalf of his Alma Mater, his long experience has 
made of him a living encyclopedia, with brain arranged in 
pigeon-holes and alcoves, and where the information accumu- 
lated for so many studious years is always at command, — not 
pressed and laid away to moulder in its living receptacle. 

Leaving the castellated granite Library, the first attempt at 
architectural display these precincts knew, and which we have 



206 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

heard the students endeavored, in President Quincy's time, to 
blow up with loaded shells, which providentially failed to ex- 
plode, we pass on to the ancient dwelling-place of the governors 
of the College, known as the President's House. 

It is a venerable gambrel-roofed structure, of no mean con- 
sideration in its day, and certainly an object remarkable enough 
for its antiquated appearance, standing, as it does, solitary and 
alone, of all its companions that once stretched along the lane. 
A tall elm at its back, another at its front, droop over it lov- 
ingly and tenderly. These are all that remain of a number 
planted by President Willard, the exigencies of improvement 
having cut off a portion of the grounds in front, now turned 
into the street. 

The house is of two stories, with a chimney at either end, 
and a straggling collection of buildings at its back, which the 
necessities of various occupants have called into being. It was 
literally the habitation of the presidents of the College for a 
hundred and twenty years, beginning with Benjamin Wads- 
worth, minister of the First Church in Boston, and son of the 
old Indian fighter, for whom it was erected. The entry from 
the President's MS. book, in the College Library, which follows, 
fixes the date with precision : — 

" The President's House to dwell in was raised May 24, 1726. No 
life was lost nor person hurt in raising it ; thanks be to God for his 
preserving goodness. In y e evening those who raised y e House, had 
a supper in y e Hall ; after wch we sang y e first stave or staff in 
y e 127 Psalm. 

" 27 Oct. 1 726. This night some of our family lodged at y e New 
House built for y e President; Nov. 4 at night was y e first time y* my 
wife and I lodg'd there. The house was not half finished within." 

Miss Eliza Susan Quincy, daughter of President Quincy, who 
resided in this house for sixteen years, has lately given the 
annexed description of the old mansion.* She says : — 

" My sketch represents the house as Washington saw it, except 
that there were only two windows on each side the porch in the 

* Charles Deane, in Mass. Hist. Society's Proceedings. 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 



207 



lowest story. The enlargement of the dining and drawing rooms, 
which added a third, was subsequently made under the direction of 
Treasurer Storer, as his daughter informed me. The room in the 
rear of the drawing-room, on the right hand as you enter, was the 
President's study, until the presidency of Webber, when the end of 
the house was added, with a kitchen and chamber and dressing-room, 
very commodiously arranged, I was told, under the direction of 
Mrs. Webber. The brick building was built at the same time for 
the President's study and Freshman's room beneath it, and for the 
preservation of the college manuscripts. I went over the house with 
my father and mother and President Kirkland, soon after his acces- 
sion. As there were no regular records kept during his presidency 
of eighteen years, he did not add much to the manuscripts. We 
then little imagined that we should be the next occupants of the 
mansion, should repair and arrange the house under Mrs. Quincy's 
direction, and reside in it sixteen very happy years. I regret its 
present dilapidated state, and rejoice, in view of ' the new departure/ 
as it is termed, that I sketched the antiquities and old mansions of 
Old Cambridge." 



The brick building alluded to, and which now joins the ex- 
treme rear additions, formerly stood on the left-hand side of the 
mansion as the spectator faces it, and communicated with it. 
This part was built under the supervision of President Webber, 
and was, in 1871, removed to its present situation. It is now 
the office of the College Steward. 

Probably no private mansion in America has seen so many 
illustrious personages under its roof-tree as 
the President's House, Besides its occu- 
pancy by Wadsworth, Holyoke, Locke, 
Langdon, Willard, Webber, Kirkland, 
Quincy, and Everett, the royal governors 
have assembled there on successive anniver- 
saries, and no distinguished traveller passed 
its door without paying his respects to the 
administration for the time being. No 
doubt the eccentric Dr. Witherspoon broke willard. 

' bread at the table of Holyoke when he visited Boston in the 
memorable year 1768. 






208 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The office of president, though for a long time, either through 
policy or parsimony, a dependent one, was always an eminent 
mark of distinction, and its possessor was regarded — outside 
the College walls at least, if not always within — with venera- 
tion and respect. The earlier incumbents were men who had 
acquired great influence for their piety and learning as teachers 
of the people, whose spiritual and temporal 
wants were in those primitive days equally 
under guardianship. 

Chauncy, who is styled in the " Magnalia " 
the Cadmus Americana, and who rose at four 
in the morning, summer and winter; In- 
crease Mather, whose dynasty embraced a 
period of great importance in the political 
history of the Colony ; Wads worth, in 
whose time the Church of England made its 
chauncy. ineffectual effort to obtain an entrance into 

the government ; Holyoke, whose term is memorable as the 
longest of the series ; and Langdon, who left his office at the 
dictation of a cabal of students, — all are honored names, and 
part of the history of their times. 

Upon the coming of General Washington to Cambridge the 
Provincial Congress assigned the President's House for his use, 
not because it was the best by many the place could afford, but 
probably because it was the only one then unoccupied by the 
provincial forces or their military adjuncts. The house not 
being in readiness when the General arrived, on the 2d of July, 
1775, he availed himself, temporarily, of another situation, and 
within a week indicated his preference for the Yassall House, 
which he had not passed down the old Watertown road with- 
out observing. There is no conclusive evidence that the Gen- 
eral ever occupied the President's House, and the absence of 
any tradition involves it in doubt. 

Washington made a passing visit to Cambridge in 1789, and 
was welcomed on behalf of the governors of the College by 
President Willard. He was then accompanied by Tobias Lear, 
who had owed his confidential position as Washington's secre- 
tary to the good offices of Willard. 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 209 

With President Willard departed trie day of big wigs at the 
President's House. He always appeared abroad in the full-bot- 
tomed white periwig sanctioned by the custom of the times ; 
this was exchanged in the study for a velvet cap, such as 
adorn the heads of some of the portraits in Old Massachusetts 
Hall. 

It is related that when Congress was sitting in New York, 
during Washington's term, President Willard visited that place. 
It chanced that he wore his full-bottomed wig, which attracted 
so great a crowd when he walked about as to occasion on his 
part apprehensions of ill usage from the mob. With what satis- 
faction he must have shaken off the dust of that barbarous city, 
where the sight of his periwig aroused a curiosity akin to that 
exhibited by the Goths when they beheld the long white beards 
of the Roman senators. 

In Willard's time a club of gentlemen were accustomed to 
assemble at his house on certain evenings, of which, besides the 
President and resident professors, Judge Dana, Governor Gerry, 
Mr. Craigie, Mr. Gannett, and others, were members. Bachelors 
were excluded, which caused Judge Winthrop, the former libra- 
rian and one of the tabooed, to say they met to talk over their 
grievances. 

President Kirkland, an elegant scholar and most fascinating 
companion, was noted for his pithy sayings as well as for his wit. 
On one occasion an ambitious young fellow, who had a pretty 
good opinion of himself, having asked the Doctor at what age 
a man would be justified in becoming an author, replied, "Wait 
until you are forty ; after that you will never print anything." 
To a student who observed in his presence that dress of itself 
was of little consequence, he made this shrewd remark : " There 
are many things which there is no particular merit in doing, 
but which there is positive demerit in leaving undone." 

The rare abilities of Dr. Kirkland make it a never-failing re- 
gret that he was by nature indolent, and indisposed to call into 
action the full powers of his mind, or to bring forward his 
reserves of information, except in brilliant conversation. He 
talked apparently without effort, and could unite the merest 



210 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

minutes of a discourse with little or no preparation and with 
marvellous address. 

President Kirkland is described as of middling stature, 
portly, with fair complexion, a round and comely face, with 
blue eyes, a small mouth, regular and beautiful teeth, and a 
countenance noble, frank, and intelligent. 

Josiah Quincy, after an active political life, became President 
in 1849. During bis occupancy of the chair Gore Hall was 
built, and the security of the library, which had given him 
much solicitude, was assured against ordinary contingencies. 
The sixteen years of Mr. Quincy's administration were a period 
of great usefulness and prosperity to the College. In 1840 the 
President published his History of Harvard University, — a 
work of much value, in which he was assisted by his daughter, 
Eliza, a lady whose culture and tastes eminently qualified her 
for the work. 

Mr. Everett's excessive sensitiveness contributed to make his 
contact with so many young and turbulent spirits at times dis- 
quieting. His elegant, classic diction and superb manner have 
gained for him an enviable name as an orator. He would never, 
if possible, speak extemporaneously, but carefully prepared and 
committed his addresses. His mind was quick to grasp any 
circumstance and turn it to account ; the simile of a drop of 
water, used by 'him with much force, occurred to him, it is said, 
through the dropping from a leak over his head while perform- 
ing his morning ablutions. Similarly, while once on his way 
to deliver an address at Williams College, he happened to pass 
the night at Stockbridge, where a gentleman exhibited to him 
the watch of Baron Dieskau. The next day this little relic 
furnished the theme for a beautiful passage, into which the de- 
feat of Dieskau and the death of Colonel Williams, on the same 
field, were effectively interwoven. 

Rev. Sydney Smith, with whom Mr. Everett passed some 
time in Somersetshire, thus spoke of him : — 

" He made upon us the same impression he appears to make uni- 
versally in this country. We thought him (a character which the 
English always receive with affectionate regard) an amiable Ameri- 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 211 

can, republican without rudeness, and accomplished without ostenta- 
tion. ' If I had known that gentleman five years ago (said one of 
my guests), I should have been deep in the American funds ; and, as 
it is, I think at times that I see nineteen or twenty shillings in the 
pound in his face.' " 

Increase Mather was the first person to receive the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity from Harvard. When he became President 
he refused to accede to the requirement that the President 
should reside at Cambridge, and finally resigned rather than 
comply with it. Vice-President Willard is the only person 
who has administered the affairs of the College under that 
title, which was assumed to evade the rule of residence, and 
to enable him to continue his functions as pastor of the Old 
South, Boston. 

It was Increase Mather, then (1700) President, who ordered 
Robert Calef's " wicked book"- — a satire on witchcraft, en- 
titled " More Wonders of the Invisible World," and printed in 
London — burnt in the College yard, and the members of the 
reverend Doctor's church [The Old North) published a defence 
of their pastors, Increase and Cotton Mather, called " Truth 
will come off Conqueror." This publication proved even a greater 
satire than Calef's, as the authors were erelong but too glad to 
disavow all sympathy with the wretched superstition. 

The President's chair, an ancient relic, used in the College, 
from an indefinite time, for conferring degrees, is preserved in 
Gore Hall. Eeport represents it to have been brought to the 
College during the presidency of Holyoke as the gift of Rev. 
Ebenezer Turcll. It has a triangular seat, and belongs to the 
earliest specimens of our ancestors' domestic furniture. 

In Dunster Street we salute the name of the first President 
of the College, whose habitation, it is conjectured, stood near. 
It was at first called Water Street, and in it were situated the 
first church erected in Newtown, which stood on the west side, 
a little south of the intersection of Mount Auburn Street, upon 
land formerly owned by Thaddeus M. Harris ; and also the 
house of Thomas Dudley, the deputy of Governor Winthrop, 
whose extravagance in ornamenting his habitation with a wain- 



212 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

scot made of clapboards the latter reproved. At the foot of 
Water Street was the old ferry by which communication was 
had with the opposite shore. 

The old meeting-house stood till about 1650, when the town 
took order for building a new church on the Watch House Hill, 
of which presently. A vote of the town in the year mentioned 
directs the repair of the old house " with a 4 square roofe and 
covered with shingle." The new house was to be forty foot 
square, covered in the same manner as was directed for the old, 
the repair of which was discontinued, and the land belonging 
to it sold in 1651. 

Dudley, the tough old soldier of Henri Quatre, with whom 
he had fought at the siege of Amiens in 1597, with a captain's 
commission from Queen Bess, finally settled in Roxbury, and 
left a name that has been honored in his descendants. His 
house stood on the west side of Water Street, near its southern 
termination at Marsh Lane. Governor Belcher says : " It was 
wrote of him, 

1 Here lies Thomas Dudley that trusty old stud, 
A bargain 's a bargain and must be made good.' " 

A brief glance at the topography of our surroundings will 
enable the reader to understand in what way the Englishmen 
laid out what they intended for their capital town. They first 
reserved a square for a market-place, after the manner of the 
old English towns. This is the present Market Square, upon 
which the College grounds abut, and in its midst was perhaps 
placed a central milliarium, which marked the home points of 
the converging roads. The plain, as level as a calm sea, ad- 
mitted the laying out of the town in squares, the streets cross- 
ing each other at right angles. Between the market-place and 
the river were erected the principal houses of the settlement, 
and some of the oldest now standing in Cambridge will be 
found in this locality. 

We have noticed the ferry. About 1660 this was super- 
seded by "the great bridge," rebuilt in 1690, and standing at 
the Revolution in its present situation at the foot of Brighton 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 213 

Street. Over this bridge came Earl Percy with his reinforce- 
ment on that eventful morning in April which dissolved the 
British empire in America. The people, having notice of his 
approach, removed the " leaves " or flooring of the bridge, but, 
as they were not conveyed to any distance, they were soon 
found and replaced by the Earl's troops. A draw was made in 
the bridge at Washington's request in 1775. 

The street leading from the market-place to the bridge was 
the principal in the town for a long period, it being in the 
direct route of travel from Boston via Boxbury and Little Cam- 
bridge (Brighton) to what is now Lexington, and from the 
capital again by Charlestown Eerry to the Colleges, and thence 
by the bridge to Brookline and the southward. 

It was intended to make Newtown a fortified place, and a 
levy was made on the several towns for this purpose. Eev. 
Abiel Holmes, writing in 1800, says : — 

" This fortification was actually made, and the fosse which was 
then dug around the town is, in some places, visible to this day. It 
commenced at Brick Wharf (originally called Windmill Hill) and 
ran along the northern side of the present Common in Cambridge, 
and through what was then a thicket, but now constitutes a part of 
the cultivated grounds of Mr. Nathaniel Jarvis, beyond which it 
cannot be distinctty traced. It enclosed above one thousand acres." 

The road to Watertown, now Brattle Street, and formerly 
the great highway to the south and west, left the market-place, 
as now, by the rear of the English Church, but communicated 
also more directly with Charlestown road by the north side of 
the Common. It was by this road that Washington arrived 
in Cambridge and the army marched to New York. By it, 
also, Burgoyne's troops reached their designated camps. The 
reader will go over it with us hereafter. All these particulars 
are deemed essential to a comprehension of the military oper- 
ations of the siege of Boston when Cambridge was an intrenched 
camp. 

Not far from the Square, and on the west side of Brighton 
Street, is the site of Ebenezer Bradish's tavern, of repute in 
Revolutionary times. Its situation near the bridge was com- 



214 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

patible with the convenience of travellers ; nor was it too re- 
mote from the College halls for the requirements of the students 
when Latin classics became too dry, and Euclid too dull for 
human endurance. Many, we will venture to say, were the 
plump, big-bellied Dutch bottles smuggled from mine host's 
into Old Harvard, Massachusetts, or Stoughton. Bradish kept 
a livery too, which was no doubt well patronized by the col- 
legians, though here he encountered some disgrace by letting 
his horses to David Phips to carry off the province cannon at 
Gage's behest. Bradish seems, however, to have been well 
affected to the patriot cause. His inn was long the only one 
in the town, and had the honor of entertaining Generals Bur- 
goyne, Philips, and the principal British officers on their first 
arrival in Cambridge. This tavern, also later known as Porter's, 
was for a time the annual resort of the Senior Class of the Col- 
lege on Class Day, for a dinner and final leave-taking of all 
academical exercises. Bradish's was the rendezvous of Eufus 
Putnam's regiment in 1777. 

The first publican in Old Cambridge was Andrew Belcher, 
an ancestor of the governor of that name, who was licensed in 
1652 "to sell beare and bread, for entertainment of strangers 
and the good of the towne." It is at least a coincidence that a 
Belcher still dispenses rather more dainty viands on Harvard 
Square. 

It is a relief to find that in the year 1750 there were some 
convivial and even thirsty souls about, as we learn from the 
journal of a rollicking sea-captain, who was having his ship 
repaired at Boston while he indulged in a run on shore : — 

" Being now ready to Sale I determined to pay my way in time, 
which I accordingly did at M r3 Graces at the Request of M r Heyleg- 
her and the Other Gentlemen Gave them a Good Supper with Wine 
and Arack Punch Galore, where Exceeding Merry Drinking Toasts 
Singing Roaring &c. untill Morning when Could Scarce see One 
another being Blinded by the Wine Arack &c. we where in all ab* 20 
in comp y ." 

The tavern bills of the General Court in 1768-69 would 
astonish the ascetics of Beacon Hill. We remark a great dis- 



A DAY AT HARVARD. * 215 

parity between the quantity of fluids and edibles. In a docu- 
ment now before us eighty dinners are flanked with one hun- 
dred and thirty-six bowls of punch, twenty-one bottles of sherry, 
and brandy at discretion. Truly! we are tempted to exclaim 
with Prince Hal on reading the bill of Falstaff's supper, — 

" monstrous ! but one half-pennyworth of bread to this intolerable deal 
of sack," 

What, then, would Prince Hal have said to a bill of your 
modern alderman ] 

Returning into the Square, we continue our peregrinations 
around the College enclosure. As you turn towards the Com- 
mon, in approaching from Harvard Street, you pass over the 
spot whereon the second edifice of the first church was erected, 
A little elevation which formerly existed here is supposed to 
have been the Watch-house Hill, before mentioned, and later 
called Meeting-house Hill. In 1706 the third church was 
erected on this ground, and in 175G the fourth house was 
raised, somewhat nearer Dane Hall. Tins church was taken 
down in 1833, when the site became the property of the 
College. 

In the meeting-house which stood here the First Provincial 
Congress held their session in 1774, after their adjournment 
from Salem and Concord. The Congress first met in the old 
Court House on the 17th of October, but immediately adjourned 
to the meeting-house, of which Rev. Nathaniel Appleton was 
then pastor, and who officiated as their chaplain. This was the 
period of the Port Act, and the crisis of the country. The 
Congress was earnestly engaged in measures for the relief of 
the distressed and embargoed town of Boston, the formation of 
an army, a civil administration, and other revolutionary meas- 
ures. Here was made the organization of the celebrated minute- 
men, the appointment of Jedediah Preble, Artemas Ward, and 
Seth Pomeroy as general officers ; and of the famous Revolution- 
ary committee of nine, of which Hancock, Warren, Church, 
Devens, White. Palmer, Quincy, Watson, and Orne were mem- 
bers. This body, called the Committee of Safety, wielded the 



216 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

executive power, and in the recess of Congress were vested with 
almost dictatorial authority. The members of the Second Con- 
tinental Congress were also chosen at this time. 

Space does not permit us to linger among those giants who 
welded the Old Thirteen together with the might of their elo- 
quence. One incident must have created no little sensation in 
an assembly of which probably a majority were slaveholders. 
A letter was brought into the Congress directed to Rev. Dr. 
Appleton, which was read. It represented the propriety while 
Congress was engaged in efforts to free themselves and the 
people from slavery, that it should also take into consideration 
the state and circumstances of the negro slaves in the province. 
After some debate the question " was allowed to subside." 

" A. ! freedome is a nobill thing! 
Freedome mayse man to haiff liking ! 
Freedome all solace to man giffis ; 
He levys at ese that frely levys ! 
A noble hart may haiff nane ese, 
Na ellys nocht that may him plese, 
Gyff fredome failythe ; for fre liking 
Is yearnyt our all other thing 
Na he, that ay hase levyt fre, 
May nocht knaw well the propryte, 
The angyr, na the wretchyt dome, 
That is cowplyt to foul thryldome." 

In the olden time people were summoned to church by beat 
of drum, — until a bell was procured, a harsh and discordant 
appeal for the assembly of a peaceful congregation, — but those 
were the days of the church militant. On the contrary, our 
grandsires, whose ears were not attuned to the sound, could as 
little endure the roll of British drums near their sanctuaries on 
a Sabbath morn, as could the poet the clangor of the bell of 
Tron-Kirk which he so rudely apostrophized : — 

" Oh ! were I provost o' the town, 
I swear by a' the powers aboon, 
I 'd bring ye wi' a reesle down ; : 

Nor should you think 
(So sair I 'd crack and clour your crown) 
Again to clink." 



A DAY AT HARVARD. 217 

The old Court House, which has been named in connection 
with the Henley trial, stood at first bodily within the Square, 
but was later removed to the site of the present Lyceum 
building, and is even now existing in its rear, where it is 
utilized for workshops. It was built in 1756, and continued to 
be used by the courts until the proprietors of Lechmere Point 
obtained their removal to that location by the offer of a large 
bonus. The old wooden jail stood a.t the southwest corner of 
the Square, and was but little used for the detention of crimi- 
nals after the erection of the stone jail at Concord in 1789. 
The Court House witnessed the trials of many notable causes, 
and furnished the law-students of the University with a real 
theatre, of which they were in the habit of availing them- 
selves. 

As late as 1665 declarations and summonses were published 
by sound of trumpet. The crier opened the court in the 
king's name, and the judges and barristers in scarlet robes, 
gown, and wig, inspired the spectator with a wholesome sense 
of the majesty of the law. The usual form of a document was 
" To all Xtian people Greeting." 

Under the first charter, or patent as it was usually calledj the 
Governor and Assistants were the sole depositaries of all power, 
whether legislative, executive, or judicial. When the patent 
was silent the Scriptures were consulted as the proper guide. 
The ministers and elders were, in all new exigencies, the ex- 
pounders of the law, which was frequently made for the occa- 
sion and applied without hesitation. The cause of complaint 
was briefly stated, and there were no pleadings. Hutchinson 
says, that for more than the' first ten years the parties spoke 
for themselves, sometimes assisted, if the cause was weighty, 
by a patron, or man of superior abilities, but without fee or 
reward. The jury — and this marks the simplicity of the 
times — were allowed by law, if not satisfied with the opinion 
of the court, "to consult any bystander" Such were the" 
humble beginnings of our courts of law. 

The following is extracted from the early laws of Massachu- 
setts : — 

10 



218 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

" Everie marryed woeman shall be free from bodilie correction or 
stripes by her husband, unlesse it be in his owne defence upon her 
assalt. If there be any just cause of correction complaint shall be 
made to Authoritie assembled in some court, from which onely she 
shall receive it.' J 

The common law of England authorized the infliction of 
chastisement on a wife with a reasonable instrument. It is 
related that Judge Buller, charging a jury in such a case, said, 
"Without undertaking to define exactly what a reasonable 
instrument is, I hold, gentlemen of the jury, that a stick no 
bigger than my thumb comes clearly within that description." 
It is further reported that a committee of ladies waited on him 
the next day, to beg that they might be favored with the exact 
dimensions of his lordship's thumb. 

Dane Hall, which bears the name of that eminent jurist and 
statesman through whose bounty it arose, was erected in 1832 
and enlarged in 1845. The south foundation-wall of Dane 
is the same as the north wall of the old meeting-house, so that 
Law and Divinity rest here upon a common base. 

The first law-professorship was established through the be- 
quest of Isaac Eoyall, the Medford loyalist, who gave by his 
will more than two thousand acres of land in the towns of 
Granby and Eoyalston for this purpose. In 1815 Hon. Isaac 
Parker, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was appointed 
first professor, and in 1817, at his suggestion, a law school was 
established. Judge Parker's lectures were delivered in what 
was then known as the Philosophy Chamber, in Harvard Hall. 
Both the Law and Divinity Schools were established during 
Dr. Kirkland's presidency. It is worthy of mention that the 
first .doctorate of laws was conferred on Washington for his 
expulsion of the British from Boston. 

Nathan Dane, LL. D., a native of Ipswich and graduate of 
Harvard, is justly remembered as the framer, while in Congress, 
of the celebrated " Ordinance of 1787 " for the government of 
the territory northwest of the Ohio, by which slavery was 
excluded from that immense region. In 1829 the Law School 
was reorganized through the liberality of Mr. Dane, who had 



A DAY AT HAHVAILD. 219 

offered a competent sum for a professorship, with the right of 
nominating the first incumbent. The person who had been 
selected for the occupancy of the chair was Joseph Story, 
whose fame as a jurist had culminated on the Supreme Bench 
of the United States. 

Judge Story remained in the Dane Professorship until his 
death in 1845, a period of sixteen years. It is believed that 
his life was shortened by his prodigious intellectual labors and 
the demands made upon him for various kinds of literary work. 
As a writer he belonged to the intense school, if such a char- 
acterization be admissible, and this mental tension appeared 
in the quick changes of his countenance and in his nervous 
movements as well as in the rapidity of his pen. A great 
talker, he never lacked interested auditors ; for his was a mind 
of colossal stamp, and he never wanted language to give utter- 
ance to his thoughts. 

The first settlers in Massachusetts Bay did not recognize the 
law of England any further than it suited their interests. The 
common law does not appear, says Sullivan, to have been re- 
garded under the old patent, nor for many years after the 
Charter of 1692. In 1G47 the first importation of law books 
was made ; it comprised, — 

2 copies of Sir Edward Coke on Littleton, 

2 " of the Book of Entries, 

2 " of Sir Edward Coke on Magna Charta, 

2 " of the New Terms of the Law, 

2 " of Dalton's Justice of the Peace, 

2 " of Sir Edward Coke's Reports. 

This was four years after the division of the Colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay into four shires. Norfolk included that part of 
the present county of Essex north of the Merrimac, and also 
the settled part of New Hampshire. 

There were attorneys here about ten years after the settle- 
ment. Lechford, who came over in 1631, and returned to 
England in 1G41, where he published a pamphlet called " Plain 
Dealing," says that " every church member was a bishop, and, 



220 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

not inclining to become one himself, lie could not be admitted 
a freeman among them ; that the General Court and Quarter 
Sessions exercised all the powers of King's Bench, Common 
Pleas, Chancery, High Commission, Star Chamber, and of all 
the other courts of England." For some offence. Lechford, de- 
barred from pleading and deprived of practice, returned to 
England, to bear witness against the colonial magistrates. But 
from other authority than Lechford's, we know that the dis- 
tinction between freeman and non-freeman, members and non- 
members, appeared as striking to new-comers as that between 
Cavalier and Soundhead in Old England. 

In 1687, almost sixty years from the first settlement of this 
country, there were but two attorneys in Massachusetts. The 
noted crown agent, Eandolph, wrote to a friend in England, in 
that year, as follows : — 

" I have wrote you the want we have of two or three honest at- 
torneys, if there be any such thing in Nature. We have but two ; 
one is Mr. West's creature, — came with him from New York, and 
drives all before him. He takes extravagant fees, and for want of 
more, the country cannot avoid coming to him." 

The other appears to have been George Farewell, who said 
in open court in Charlestown that all causes must be brought 
to Boston, because there were not honest men enough in 
Middlesex to make a jury to serve their turns. 

Our two oldest Universities have never displayed a political 
bias like Oxford and Cambridge in Old England, where the dis- 
tinction between Whig and Tory was so marked that when 
George I. gave his library to Cambridge, the following epigram 
appeared : — 

" King George observing with judicious eyes 
The state of both his Universities, 
To Oxford sent a troop of horse ; for why ? 
That learned body wanted loyalty. 
To Cambridge books he sent, as well discerning 
How much that loyal body wanted learning." 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 221 



CHAPTEK X. 

A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 

" It will be proved to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually 
talk of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words." — Jack Cade. 

THE Marquis of Wellesley is accredited with having said 
to an American, " Establishing a seminary in New Eng- 
land at so early a period of time hastened your revolution 
half a century." This was a shrewd observation, and aptly 
supplements the forecast of the commissioners of Charles II., 
who said, in their report, made about 166G : — 

" It may be feared this collidg may afford as many scismaticks to 
the Church, and the Corporation as many rebells to the King, as for- 
merly they have done if not timely prevented." 

The earliest contemporary account of the founding of the 
College is found in a tract entitled " New England's Eirst 
Fruits," dated at " Boston in New England, September 26, 
1642," and published in London in 1643. This is, in point of 
time, nearly coeval with the University, and is as follows : — 

" After God had carried us safe to New England, and wee had 
builded our houses, provided necessaries for our liveli-hood, rear'd 
convenient places for God's worship, and settled the civill govern- 
ment ; One of the next things we longed for and looked after was to 
advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity ; dreading to leave 
an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers 
shall lie in the dust. And as wee were thinking and consulting how 
to effect this great work ; it pleased God to stir up the heart of one 
Mr. Harvard (a godly gentleman and a lover of learning, then liv- 
ing amongst us) to give the one half of his estate (it being in all 
about 1700 I.) towards the erecting of aColledge and all his Library; 
After him another gave 300 1, others after them cast in more, and the 
publique hand of the State added the rest : The Colledge was by 



222 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

common consent, appointed to be at Cambridge, (a place very pleas- 
ant and accommodate) and is called (according to the name of its 
first founder) Harvard Colledge." 

The account, with its quaint and pertinent title, gives also 
the first description of the College itself : — 

" The edifice is very faire and comely within and without, having 
in it a spacious hall ; where they daily meet at commons, lectures 
and Exercises ; and a large library with some bookes to it, the gifts 
of diverse of our friends, their chambers and studies also fitted for, 
and possessed by the students, and all other roomes of office neces- 
sary and convenient with all needful offices thereto belonging : And 
by the side of the Colledge a faire Grammar Schoole for the train- 
ing up of young scholars and fitting them for Academical learning, 
that still as they are judged ripe, they may be received into the 
Colledge of this schoole : Master Corlet is the Mr. who hath very 
well approved himself for his abilities, dexterity, and painfulnesse 
in teaching and education of the youths under him." 

Edward Johnson's account of New England, which appeared 
in 1654, mentions the single College building, which was of 
wood, as the commissioners before quoted say : — 

" At Cambridge, they have a wooden Collidg, and in the yard a 
brick pile of two Cages for the Indians, where the Commissioners 
saw but one. They said they had three or more at scool." 

The Indian seminary was built by the corporation in Eng- 
land, and in 1665 contained eight pupils, one of whom had 
been admitted into the College. By this time as many as a 
hundred preachers, physicians, and others had been educated 
and sent forth by the College. 

There existed formerly, in lieu of the low railing at present 
dividing the College grounds from the highway, a close fence, 
with an entrance opening upon the old College yard between 
Harvard and Massachusetts. This was superseded in time by 
a more ornamental structure, with as many as four entrances, 
flanked by tall gateposts. The present streets, then but lanes, 
were enlarged. at the expense of the College territory, thus re- 
ducing its area very materially. 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 223 

The first building, or Old Harvard, was rebuilt of brick in 
1672 by the contributions of the Colony. Of the £1890 raised 
for this purpose, Boston gave «£ 800. 

The old structures ranging along the street which separates 
the College enclosure from the Common are, with the exception 
of Stoughton, on their original sites, and were, when erected, 
fronting the principal highway through the town. Harvard, 
which is upon its old ground, was the nucleus around which 
the newer halls ranged themselves. Stoughton, second in the 
order of time, was built in 1698, and Massachusetts in 1720. 
These are the three edifices shown in the illustration, of which 
the original was published by William Price at the " King's 
Head and Looking Glass," in Cornhill (Boston), and is dedi- 
cated to Lieutenant-Governor Spencer Phips. It is entitled " A 
Prospect of the Colledges in Cambridge in New England." 

The first Stoughton was placed a little in the rear of, and at 
right angles with, Harvard and Massachusetts, fronting the 
open space between, so as to form three sides of a quadrangle. 
It stood nearly on a line with Hollis, was of brick, and had the 
name of Governor Stoughton, the founder, inscribed upon it. 
The foundation-stone was laid May 9, 1698, but, after standing 
nearly a century, having gone to irremediable decay, it was 
taken down in 1781. A facsimile of this edifice appears in the 
background of Governor Stoughton's portrait, in the gallery in 
Massachusetts Hall. 

As has been remarked, there is a probability that the College 
press was kept in either Harvard or Stoughton as early as 
1720, and the fact that the types belonging to the College were 
destroyed by the fire which consumed Harvard in 1764 gives 
color to the conjecture that the press was there. In May, 
1775, the Provincial Congress, having taken possession of the 
College, assigned a chamber in Stoughton to Samuel and 
Ebenezer Hall, who printed the " New England Chronicle and 
Essex Gazette " there until the removal of the army from Cam- 
bridge. From this press, says a contemporary, " issued streams 
of intelligence, and those patriotic songs and tracts which so 
pre-eminently animated the defenders of American liberty." 



224 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

John Fox, who was born at Boston, in England, in 1517, 
thus speaks of the art of printing : — 

" What man soever was the instrument [whereby this invention 
was made] without all doubt, God himself was the ordainer and dis- 
poser thereof, no otherwise than he was of the gift of tongues, and 
that for a similar purpose." 

In 1639 the first printing-press erected in New England 
was set up at Cambridge by Stephen Daye, at the charge of 
Kev. Joseph Glover, who not only brought over the printer, 
but everything necessary to the typographic art. " The first 
thing printed was ' The Freeman's Oath,' the next an Almanac 
made for New England by Mr. Pierce, mariner ; the next was 
the Psalms newly turned into metre." * John Day, who lived 
in Elizabeth's time at Aldersgate, London, was a famous printer, 
who is understood to have introduced the italic characters and 
the first font of Saxon types into our t}^pography. 

Samuel. Green, into whose possession the press very early 
came, and who is usually considered the first printer in America, 
was an inhabitant of Cambridge in 1639, and pursued his call- 
ing here for more than forty years, when he removed to Boston. 
Green printed the " Cambridge Platform " in 1649 ; the Laws 
in 1660; and the "Psalter," "Eliot's Catechism," "Baxter's 
Call," and the Bible in the Indian language in 1685. Daye's 
press, or some relics of it, are said to have been in existence as 
late as 1809 a£ Windsor, Yt. All these early publications are 
of great rarity. 

Massachusetts, which is the first of the old halls reached in 
coming from the Square, is the oldest building now standing. 
It is but one remove from, and is the oldest existing specimen 
in Massachusetts of, our earliest types of architecture as applied 
to public edifices. Like Harvard, it presents its end to the 
street, and faces upon what was the College green a century and 
a half gone by, — perhaps the very place where Eobert Calef 's 
wicked book was, by an edict which smacks strongly of the 
Inquisition, burnt by order of Increase Mather. 

* Winthrop's Journal. 



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A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 225 

The building, with its high gambrel roof, dormer windows, 
and wooden balustrade surmounting all, has a quaint and de- 
cidedly picturesque appearance. Though nominally of three 
stories, it shows five tiers of windows as we look at it, above 
which the parapet terminates in two tall chimneys. Between 
each range of windows is a belt giving an appearance of strength 
to the structure. On the summit of the western gable was a 
clock affixed to an ornamental wooden tablet, which is still in 
its place, although the clock has long since disappeared. Mas- 
sachusetts contained thirty-two rooms and sixty-four studies, 
until its dilapidated condition compelled the removal of all the 
interior woodwork, when it was converted into a gallery for the 
reception of the portraits belonging to the College. 

Many of these portraits are originals of Smibert, Copley, and 
Stuart, which makes the collection one of rare value and ex- 
cellence. Of these, two of the most characteristic are of old 
Thomas Hancock; the merchant prince, and founder of the pro- 
fessorship of that name, and of Nicholas Boylston, another 
eminent benefactor, — both Copleys. Hancock, who was the 
governor's uncle, and who became very rich through his con- 
tracts for supplying Loudon's and Amherst's armies, kept a 
bookseller's shop at the " Bible arid Three Crowns " in Ann 
Street, Boston, as early as 172G. 

Copley has delineated him in a suit of black velvet, white 
silk stockings, and shoes with gold buckles. One of the hands 
is gloved, while the other, uncovered, shows the beautiful mem- 
ber which plays so important a part in all of that painter's 
works. The old gentleman's clothes fit as if he had been melt- 
ed down and poured into them, and his ruffles, big-wig, cocked 
hat, and gold-headed cane supply materials for completing an 
attire suited to the dignity of a nabob of 1756. The artist 
gives his subject a double chin, shrewd, smallish eyes, and a 
general expression of complacency and good-nature. What we 
remark about Copley is his ability to paint a close-shaven face 
on which the beard may still be traced, with wonderful faith- 
fulness to nature ; every one of his portraits has a character of 
its own. 

10* o 



226 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Boylston is represented in a neglige costume, with a dressing- 
gown of bine damask, the usual purple-velvet cap on his head, 
and his feet encased in slippers. This portrait was painted at the 
request of the corporation in partial acknowledgment of the 
bequest of £ 1500 lawful money by Boylston, to found a profes- 
sorship of oratory and rhetoric, of which John Quincy Adams 
was the first professor. The portrait ordered by the College 
was a copy from the original by Copley, and was directed to 
be hung in the Philosophy Koom beside those of Hancock and 
Hollis. 

The portrait of Thomas Hollis, one of a family celebrated for 
its many benefactions to the College, is also a Copley, as are 
those of President Holyoke, and Master John Lovell, the tory 
schoolmaster of Boston. The full length of John Adams ex- 
hibits a figure full of animation, attired in an elegant suit of 
brown velvet, with dress sword and short curled wig. As a 
whole, it may fairly claim to take rank with the superb portrait 
of Colonel Josiah Quincy in the possession of his descendants, 
and overshadows the full length of J. Q. Adams by Stuart, 
hanging near it. There is also a portrait of Count Eumforcl. 

All these portraits are admirable studies of the costumes of 
their time, and as such have an interest rivalling their purely 
artistic merits. One of the irreparable consequences of the great 
fire in Boston, of November, 1872, was the loss of a score or 
more of Copley's portraits which were stored within the burnt 
district. 

In 1806 the College corporation having represented to the 
General Court that the proceeds of the lottery granted for the 
use of the University by an act passed June 14, 1794, were in- 
sufficient, and that great and expensive repairs were necessary 
to be made on Massachusetts Hall, they were empowered by an 
act passed March 14, to raise $ 30,000 by lottery, to erect the 
" new building called Stoughton Hall," and for the purpose of 
repairing Massachusetts, under direction of the President and 
Fellows, who were to appoint agents and publish the schemes in 
the papers. 

A lottery had been authorized as early as 1765 to raise 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 



227 



ILLIARD & METCA 



funds for the "new building" (Harvard Hall), another in 
1794, — in which the College itself drew the principal prize 
(No. 18,547) of ten thousand 
dollars, — and still another 
in 1811. 

When the camps were 
formed at Cambridge, the 
College buildings were found 
very convenient for barracks ; 
but as the greater part of 
the troops encamped during 
the summer of 1775, they 
were made available for every 
variety of military offices as 
well as for a certain number 
of soldiers. In June Captain 
Smith was ordered to quar- 
ter in- No. 6, and Captain 
Sephens in No. 2 of Massa- 
chusetts, while Mr. Adams, 
a sutler, was assigned to No. 
17. The commissariat was in 
the College yard, where the 
details from all the posts came 
to draw rations. Nearly two 
thousand men were sheltered 
in the five College buildings 
standing in the winter of 
1775 - 76, of which Harvard 
received 640, Stoughton 240, 
and the chapel 160. 

Harvard Hall, as it now 
appears, was rebuilt in 1765. 
The fire which destroyed its 
predecessor was supposed to 
have originated under the hearth of the library, where a fire had 
been kept for the use of the General Court, which was then 




228 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

sitting there on account of the prevalence of small-pox in Bos- 
ton. Two days after this accident the General Court passed 
a resolve to rebuild Harvard Hall. The new edifice contained a 
chapel, dining-hall, library, museum, philosophy chamber, and 
an apartment for the philosophical apparatus. 

Several interesting incidents are associated with the rebuild- 
ing of Harvard. When the Eev. George Whitefield was first 
in New England he was engaged in an acrimonious controversy 
with the President and some of the instructors of the College. 
Upon learning of the loss the seminary had sustained, White- 
field, putting all animosities aside, solicited contributions in 
England and Scotland with generous results. On the occasion 
of the last visit of this celebrated preacher to America every 
attention was paid him by the President and Eellows of 
the University. Dr. Appleton, who had moderately opposed 
Whitefield's teachings, invited him to preach in his pulpit, and 
the scene is said to have been one of great interest. 

Harvard Hall was planned by Governor -Bernard, • — a great 
friend of the College, whatever else his demerits, — and while it 
was building he would not suffer the least departure from his 
plan. It is said he could repeat the whole of Shakespeare. 
That he was somewhat sensitive to the many lampoons levelled 
at him may be inferred from his complaint to the council of a 
piece in the Boston Gazette, which ended with these lines : — 

" And if such men are by God appointed, 
The., devil may be the Lord's anointed." 

Shortly after the arrival of the troops from England in 1768, 
which was one of Bernard's measures, the portrait of the Gov- 
ernor which hung in Harvard Hall was found with a piece cut 
out of the breast, exactly describing a heart. The mutilated 
picture disappeared and could never be traced. 

After Bernard's return home it was reported, and currently 
believed, that he was driven out of the Smyrna Coffee House 
in London, by General Oglethorpe, who told him he was a 
dirty, factious scoundrel, who smelled cursed strong of the 
hangman. The General ordered the Governor to leave the 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 229 

room as one unworthy to mix with gentlemen, but offered to 
give him the satisfaction of following him to the door had he 
anything to reply. The Governor, according to the account, 
left the house like a guilty coward. 

Harvard, the building of which Thomas Dawes superintended, 
stands on a foundation of Braintree stone, above which is a 
course of dressed red sandstone with a belt of the same material 
between the stories. It is composed of a central building with a 
pediment at either front, to which are joined two wings of equal 
height and length, each having a pediment at the end. There 
are but two stories, the lower tier of windows being arched, 
and the whole structure surmounted by a cupola. It was 
in the Philosophy Kooni of Harvard that Washington was 
received in 1789, and after breakfasting inspected the library, 
museum, &c. 

The three buildings which we have described are those seen 
by Captain Goelet in 1750.* He says : — 

" After dinner Mr. Jacob Wendell, Abraham Wendell, and self 
took horse and went to see Cambridge, which is a neat, pleasant 
village, and consists of about an hundred houses and three Col- 
leges, which are a plain old fabrick of no manner of architect, and 
the present much out of repair, is situated on one side of the Towne 
and forms a large Square ; its apartments are pretty large. Drank a 
glass wine with the collegians, returned and stopt at Richardson's 
where bought some fowles and came home in the evening which we 
spent at Wetherhead's with sundry gentlemen." 

Hollis and the second Stoughton Hall, both standing to the 
north of Harvard, are in the same style of architecture. The 
first, named for Thomas Hollis, was begun in 1762 and com- 
pleted in 1763. It was set on fire when Old Harvard was 
consumed, and was struck by lightning 'in 1768. Thomas 
Dawes was the architect. Stoughton was built during the 
years 1804, 1805. They have each four stories, and are exceed- 
ingly plain " old fabrics : ' of red brick. Standing in front of 
the interval between these is Holden Chapel, built in 1745 at 

* N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register. 



230 "HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the cost of the widow and daughters of Samuel Holden, one of 
the directors of the Bank of England. It was first used for the 
College devotions, subsequently for the American courts-martial, 
and afterwards for anatomical lectures and dissections. It- be- 
came in 1800 devoted to lecture and recitation rooms for the 
professors and tutors. Holworthy Hall, which stands at right 
angles with Stoughton, was erected in 1812. Besides the five 
brick edifices standing in 1800, was also what was then called 
the College House, a three-story wooden building, standing 
without the College yard, containing twelve rooms with studies. 
It was originally built in 1770 for a private dwelling, and pur- 
chased soon after by the College corporation. University Hall, 
built in 1812 — 13 of Chelmsford granite, is placed upon the 
site of the old Bog Pond and within the limits of the Wiggles- 
worth Ox Pasture. This building had once a narrow escape 
from being blown up by the students, the explosion being 
heard at a great distance. A little southeast of Hollis is the 
supposed site of the Indian college. 

It does not fall within our purpose to recite the history of 
the more modern buildings grouped around the interior quad- 
rangle, with its magnificent elms and shady walks ; its elegant 
and lofty dormitories, and its classic lore. Our business is 
with the old fabrics, the ancient pastimes and antiquated cus- 
toms of former generations of Senior and Junior, Sophomore 
and Freshman. 

It was a warm spring afternoon when we stood within the 
quadrangle and slaked our thirst at the wooden pump. A 
longing to throw one's self upon the grass under one of those 
inviting trees was rudely repelled by the painted admonition, 
met at every turn, to " Keep off the Grass." The government 
does not waste words ; it orders, and its regulations assimilate 
to those of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Never- 
theless, a few benches would not seem out of place here, when 
we recall how the sages of Greece instructed their disciples as 
they walked or while seated under some shady bough, as Soc- 
rates is described by Plato. 

Looking up at the open windows of the dormitories, we saw 




^ ! «f7il|U 






ffSBJ t ^s H), fea wf|^ 






232 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

that not a few were garnished with booted or slippered feet. 
This seemed the favorite attitude for study, by which knowl- 
edge, absorbed at the pedal extremities, is conducted by the 
inclined plane of the legs to the body, finally mounting as high 
as its source, siphon-like, to the brain. Any movement by which 
the feet might be lowered during this process would, we are 
persuaded, cause the hardly gained learning to flow back again 
to the feet. Others of the students were squatted in Indian 
fashion, their elbows on their knees, their chins resting in their 
palms, with knitted brows and eyes % fixed on vacancy, in which, 
did we possess the conjurer's art, the coming University boat- 
race or the last base-ball tournament would, we fancy, appear 
instead of Latin classics. Perhaps we have not rightly inter- 
preted the expressions of others, which seemed to say, in the 
language of one whose brain was stretched upon the same rack 
a century and a quarter ago : — 

" Now algebra, geometry, 
Arithmetick, astronomy, 
Opticks, chronology and staticks, 
All tiresome parts of mathematics, 
With twenty harder names than these, 
Disturb my brains and break my peace." 

It was formerly the practice of the Sophomores to notify the 
Freshmen to assemble in the Chapel, where they were indoc- 
trinated in the ancient customs of the College, the latter being 
required " to keep their places in their seats, and attend with 
decency to the reading." Among these customs, descended 
from remote times, was one which forbade a Freshman "to 
wear his hat in the College yard, unless it rains, hails, or snows, 
provided he be on foot, and have not both hands full." The 
same prohibition extended to all undergraduates when any of 
the governors of the College were in the yard. These absurd 
"relics of barbarism" had become entirely obsolete before 1800. 

The degrading custom which made a Freshman subservient 
to all other classes, and obliged him to go of errands like a pot- 
boy in an alehouse, the Senior having the prior claim to his 
service, died a natural death, without the interposition of 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 233 

authority. It became the practice under this state of things 
for a Freshman to choose a Senior as a patron, to whom he 
acknowledged service, and who, on his part, rendered due pro- 
tection to his servitor from the demands of others. These petty 
offices, when not unreasonably required, could be enforced by 
an appeal to a tutor. The President and immediate govern- 
ment had also their Freshmen. It is noteworthy that the 
abolition of this menial custom was recommended by the Over- 
seers. as early as 1772; but the Corporation, which, doubtless, de- 
rived too many advantages from a continuance of the practice, 
rejected the proposal. 

Another custom obliged the Freshman to measure his strength 
with the Sophomore in a wrestling-match, which usually took 
place during the second week in the term on the College play- 
ground, which formerly bounded on Charlestown road, now 
Kirkland Street, and included about an acre and a half. This 
playground was enclosed by a close board fence, which began 
about fifty feet north of Hollis and extended back about three 
hundred feet, separating the playground from the College 
buildings. The playground had a front on the Common of 
about sixty-five feet, and was entered on the side of Hollis. 

" This enclosure, an irregular square, contained two thirds or more 
of the ground on which Stoughton stands, the greater part of the 
land on which Holworthy stands, together with about the same 
quantity of land in front of the same, the land back of Holworthy, 
including part of a road since laid out, and perhaps a very small 
portion of the western extremity of the Delta, so called." * 

This was the College gymnasia, where the students, after 
evening prayers, ran, leaped, wrestled, played at quoits or 
cricket, and at good, old-fashioned, obsolete bat and ball, — not 
the dangerous pastime of to-day, but where you stood up, man- 
fashion, with nothing worse resulting than an occasional eye in 

" Like sportive deer they coursed about, 
And shouted as they ran, 
Turning to mirth all things of earth, 
As only boyhood can." 

* Willard. 



234 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Any account of Harvard which ignored the clubs would be 
incomplete. Besides the Phi Beta Kappa was the Porcellian, 
founded by the Seniors about 1793. It was originally called 
the Pig Club, but, for some unknown reason, this homely but ex- 
pressive derivation was translated into a more euphonious title. 
A writer remarks that learned pigs have sometimes been on ex- 
hibition, but, to our mind, to have been educated among them 
would be but an ill passport into good society. There was also 
the Hasty Pudding Club, — a name significant of that savory, 
farinaceous substance, the dish of many generations of JSTew- 
Englanders. "Whether this society owed its origin to sumptuary 
regulations we are unable to say ; but a kettle of the article, 
steaming hot, suspended to a pole, and borne by a brace of 
students across the College yard, were worth a visit to Old 
Harvard to have witnessed. 

Commencement, ISTeal says, was formerly a festival second 
only to the day of the election of the magistrates, usually 
termed " Election Day." The account in " New England's 
First Emits" gives the manner of conducting the academical 
exercises in 1642 : — 

"The students of the first classis that have beene these foure yeeres* 
trained up in University learning (for their ripening in the knowl- 
edge of tongues and arts) and are approved for their manners, as 
they have kept their public Acts in former yeares, ourselves being 
present at them ; so have they lately kej)t two solemn Acts for their 
Commencement, when Governour, Magistrates and the Ministers 
from all parts, with all sorts of schollars, and others in great num- 
bers were present and did heare their exercises ; which were Latine 
and Greeke Orations, and Declamations, and Hebrew Analasis, 
Grammatical], Logicall and Rhetoricall of the Psalms ; And their 
answers and disputations in Logicall, Ethicall, Physicall, and Meta- 
physicall questions ; and so were found w r orthy of the first degree 
(commonly called Bachelour pro more Academiarum in Anglia) ; 
Being first presented by the President to the Magistrates and Minis- 
ters, and by him upon their approbation, solemnly admitted unto 
the same degree, and a booke of arts delivered into each of their 
hands, and the power given them to read Lectures in the hall upon 

* Fixing the founding in 1638. 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 235 

any of the arts, when they shall be thereunto called, and a liberty 
of studying in the library." 

Commencement continued to be celebrated as a red-letter 
day, second only to the republican anniversary of the Fourth 
of July. The merry-makings under the tents and awnings 
erected within the College grounds, for the entertainment of the 
guests, who had assembled to do honor to the literary triumphs . 
of their friends or relatives, were completely eclipsed by the 
saturnalia going on without on the neighboring Common. This 
space was covered with booths, within which the hungry and 
thirsty might find refreshment, or the unwary be initiated into 
the mysteries of sweat-cloth, 'dice, or roulette. Side-shows, 
with performing monkeys, dogs, or perhaps a tame bear, less 
savage than his human tormentors, drew their gaping multi- 
tudes, ever in movement, from point to point. Gaming was 
freely indulged in, and the Maine Law was not. As the day 
waxed, the liquor began to produce its legitimate results, 
swearing and fighting taking the place of the less exciting ex- 
hibitions. The crowd surged around the scene of each pugilistic 
encounter, upsetting the booths, and vociferating encouragement 
to the combatants. The best man emerged with battered nose, 
eyes swelled and inflamed, his clothes in tatters, to receive the 
plaudits of the mob and the pledge of victory in another bowl 
of grog, while the vanquished sneaked away amid the jeers and 
derision of the men and the hootings of the boys. These orgies, 
somewhat less violent at the beginning of the present century, 
were by degrees brought within the limits of decency, and 
finally disappeared altogether. This was one of those " good 
old time " customs which we have sometimes known recalled 
with long-drawn sigh and woful shake of the head over our 
own days of State police, lemonade, and degeneracy. During 
the early years of the Revolution, and as late as 1778, there 
was no public Commencement at Harvard. 

Dress was a matter to whicli students gave little heed at the 
beginning of the century. The College laws required them to 
wear coats of blue-gray, with gowns as a substitute, in warm 
weather, — except on public occasions, when black gowns were 



236 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

permitted. Little does your spruce young undergraduate of 
to-day resemble, in this respect, his predecessor, who went about 
the College grounds, and even the village, attired in summer in 
a loose, long gown of calico or gingham, varied in winter by 
a similar garment of woollen stuff, called lambskin. With a 
cocked hat on his head, and peaked-toed shoes on his feet, your 
collegian was not a bad counterpart of Dominie Sampson in 
dishabille, if not in learning. Knee-breeches began to be dis- 
carded about 1800 by the young men, but were retained by a 
few of the elders until about 1825, when pantaloons had so far 
established themselves that it was unusual to see small-clothes 
except upon the limbs of some aged relic of the old regime. 
Top-boots, with the yellow lining falling over, and cordovans, 
or half-boots, made of elastic leather, fitting itself to the shape 
of the leg, belonged to the time of which we are writing. The 
tendency, it must be admitted, has been towards improvement, 
and the present generation fully comprehends how 

" Braid claith lends fouk an unca heeze ; 
Maks mony kail-worms butterflees ; 
Gies mony a doctor his degrees, 

For little skaith ; 
In short yon may be what you please, 

Wi guid braid claith." 

An example of the merits of dress was somewhat ludicrously 
presented by a colloquy between two Harvard men who arrived 
at eminence, and who were as wide apart as the poles in their 
attention to personal appearance. Theophilus Parsons was a 
man very negligent of his outward seeming, while Harrison 
Gray Otis was noted for his fine linen and regard for his apparel. 
The elegant Otis, having to cross-examine a witness in court 
whose appearance was slovenly in the extreme, commented 
upon the man's filthy exterior with severity, and spoke of him 
as a " dirty fellow," because he had on a dirty shirt. Parsons, 
whose witness it was, objected to the badgering of Otis. 

" Why," said Otis, turning to Parsons, with ill-concealed 
irony,. " how many shirts a week do you .wear, Brother Par- 
sons % " 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 237 

" I wear one shirt a week," was the reply. " How many do 
you wear 1 " 

" I change my shirt every day, and sometimes oftener," said 
Otis. 

" Well," retorted Parsons, " you must be a ' dirty fellow ' to 
soil seven shirts a week when I do but one." 

There was a sensation in the court-room, and Mr. Otis sat 
down with his plumage a little ruffled. 

" For though you had as wise a snout on, 
As Shakespeare or Sir Isaac Newton, 
Your judgment i'ouk would hae a doubt on, 

I '11 tak my aith, 
Till they would see ye wi' a suit on 

0' guid braid claith." 

The silken " Oxford Caps," formerly worn in public by the 
collegians, are well remembered. These were abandoned, in 
public places, through the force of circumstances alone, as they 
drew attentions of no agreeable nature upon the wearer when 
he wandered from the protecting aegis of his Alma Mater. In 
the neighboring city, should his steps unfortunately tend thither, 
the sight of his headpiece at once aroused the war-cries of the 
clans of Cambridge Street and the West End. " An Oxford 
Cap ! an Oxford Cap ! " reverberated through the dirty lanes, 
and was answered by the instant muster of an ill-omened rabble 
of sans-cidottes. Stones, mud, and unsavory eggs were showered 
upon the wretched " Soph," whose conduct on these occasions 
justified the derivation of his College title. Sometimes -he stood 
his ground to be pummelled until within an inch of taking his 
degree in another world, and finally to see his silken helmet 
borne off in triumph at the end of a broomstick ; generally, 
however, he obeyed the dictates of discretion and took incon- 
tinently to his heels. At sight of these ugly black bonnets, 
worthy a familiar of the Inquisition, the whole neighborhood 
seemed stirred to its centre with a frenzy only to be assuaged 
when the student doffed his obnoxious casque or fled across the 
hostile border. 

The collegians, with a commendable esprit du corps, and a 



238 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

valor worthy a better cause, clung to their caps with a chivalric 
devotion born alone of persecution. They learned to visit the 
city in bands instead of singly, but this only brought into 
action the reserves of " Nigger Hill," and enlarged the war. 
The North made common cause with the West, and South Eud 
with both. The Harvard boys armed themselves, and some 
dangerous night-affrays took place in the streets, 'for which t]^e 
actors were cited before the authorities. Common-sense at 
length put an end to the disturbing cause, in which the stu- 
dents were obliged to confess the game was not worth the 
candle. The Oxford Caps were hung on the dormitory pegs, 
and order reigned in Warsaw. 

It is not designed to enumerate the many distinguished sons 
of Old Harvard whose names illuminate history. This is now 
being done in a series of biographies from an able pen.'" One 
of the first class of graduates was George Downing, who went 
to England and became Chaplain to Colonel Okey's regiment, 
in Cromwell's army, — the same whom he afterwards betrayed 
in order to ingratiate himself in the favor of Charles II. He 
was a brother-in-law of Governor Bradstreet and a good friend 
to New England. Doctor Johnson characterized him as the 
" dog Downing." He was ambassador to the states of Hol- 
land, and notwithstanding his reputation, soiled by the betrayal 
of some of his republican friends to the block, was a man of 
genius and address. No other evidence is needed to show that 
he was a scoundrel than the record of his treatment of his 
mother, in her old age, as related by herself : — 

" But I am now att ten pound e ayear for my chamber and 3 
pound for my seruants wages, and haue to extend the other tene 
pound a year to accomadat for our meat and drinck ; and for my 
clothing and all other necessaries I am much to seeke, and more 
your brother Georg will not hear of for me ; and that it is onely 
couetousness that maks me aske more. He last sumer bought an- 
other town, near Hatly, called Clappum, cost him 13 or 14 thou- 
sand pound, and I really beleeue one of us 2 are couetous." 

Downing Street, London, was named for Sir George when 

* John L. Sibley, Librarian. 






A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 239 

the office of Lord Treasurer was put in commission (May, 
1667), and Downing College, Cambridge, England, was founded 
by a grandson of the baronet, in 1717. 

The class of 1763 was in many respects a remarkable one, 
fruitful in loyalists to the mother country. Three refugee 
judges of the Supreme Court, of which number Sampson Salter 
Blowers lived to be a hundred, and, with the exception of Dr. 
Holyoke, the oldest of the Harvard alumni ; Bliss of Spring- 
Held and Upham of Brookfield, afterwards judges of the high- 
est court in New Brunswick ; Dr. John Jeffries, the celebrated 
surgeon of Boston, and others of less note. On the Whig side 
were Colonel Timothy Pickering, General Jedediah Hunting- 
ton, who pronounced the first English oration ever delivered at 
Commencement, and Hon. Xathan Cashing. 

Benjamin Pratt, afterwards Chief Justice of New York under 
the crown, was a graduate of 1737. He had been bred a me- 
chanic, but, having met with a serious injury that disabled him 
from pursuing his trade, turned his attention to study. Gov- 
ernors Belcher, Hutchinson, Dummer, Spencer Phips, Bowdoin, 
Strong, Gerry, Eustis, Everett, T. L. Winthrop, the two Presi- 
dents Adams and the Governor of that name, are of those who 
have been distinguished in high political positions. The names 
of those who have become eminent in law, medicine, and divin- 
ity would make too formidable a catalogue for our limits. 

The Marquis Chastellux, writing in 1782, says : — 

" I must here repeat, what I have observed elsewhere, that in 
comparing our universities and our studies in general with those of 
the Americans, it would not be to our interest to call for* a decision 
of the question, which of the two nations should be considered an 
infant people." 

A University education, upon which, perhaps, too great 
stress is laid by a few narrow minds who would found, an 
aristocracy of learning in the republic of letters, is unquestion- 
ably of great advantage, though not absolutely essential to a 
successful public career. It is a passport which smooths the 
way, if it does not guarantee superiority. Perhaps it has a 



240 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF • MIDDLESEX. 

tendency to a clannishness which lias but little sympathy with 
those whose acquirements have been gained while sternly 
fighting the battle of life in the pursuit of a livelihood. 
Through its means many have achieved honor and distinction, 
while not a few have arrived at the goal without it. Franklin, 
Rumford, Eittenhouse, and William Wirt are examples of so- 
called self-made men which it would be needless to multiply. 
Even in England the proportion of collegians in public life is 
small. Twenty-five years ago Lord Lyndhurst said in a speech 
that, when he began his political career a majority of the House 
of Commons had received a University education, while at the 
time of which he was speaking not more than one fifth had 
been so educated. The practice which prevails in our country, 
especially at the West, of distinguishing every country semi- 
nary with the name of college, is deserving of unqualified 
reprobation. 

It would be curious to trace the antecedents of the posses- 
sors of some of the great names in history. Columbus was 
a weaver ; Sixtus V. kept .swine ; Eerguson and Burns were 
shepherds ; Defoe was a hosier's apprentice ; Hogarth, an en- 
graver of pewter pots ; Ben Jonson was a brick-layer ; Cer- 
vantes was a common soldier ; Halley was the son of a soap- 
boiler ; Ark wright was a barber, and Belzoni the son of a bar- 
ber ; Canova was the son of a stone-cutter, and Shakespeare 
commenced life as a menial. 

The historic associations of Harvard are many and interest- 
ing. The buildings have frequently been used by the legislative 
branches of the provincial government. In 1729 the General 
Court sat here, having been adjourned from Salem by Governor 
Burnet, in August. Again in the stormy times of 1770 the 
Court was prorogued by Hutchinson to meet here instead of at 
its ancient seat in Boston. Wagers were laid at great odds 
that the Assembly would not proceed to do business, considering 
themselves as under restraint. They, however, opened their 
session* under protest, by a vote of 59 yeas to 29 nays. Urgent 
public business gave the Governor a triumph, which was ren- 
dered as empty as possible by every annoyance the members in 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 241 

their ingenuity could invent. The preceding May the election 
of councillors had been held in Cambridge, conformably to 
Governor Hutchinson's orders, but contrary to the charter and 
the sense of the whole province. This was done to prevent 
any popular demonstration in Boston, but the patriotic party 
celebrated the day there, and their friends flocked into town 
from the country as usual. An ox was roasted whole on the 
Common and given to the populace. 

The tragic events of the 5th of March, 1770, had occasioned 
great indignation and uneasiness, which the acquittal of Cap- 
tain Preston and his soldiers contributed to keep alive. The 
following is a copy of the paper posted upon the door of Boston 
Town House (Old State House), December 13, 1770, and for 
which Governor Hutchinson offered a reward of a hundred 
pounds lawful money, to be paid out of the' public treasury. 
Otway's " Venice Preserved " seems to have furnished the text 
to the writer : — 

" To see the sufferings of my fellow -townsmen 
And own myself a man ; To see the Court 
Cheat the injured people with a shew 
Of justice, which we ne'er can taste of ; 
Drive us like wrecks down the rough tide of power, 
While no hold is left to save us from destruction, 
All that bear this are slaves, and we as such, 
Not to rouse up at the great call of Nature 
And free the world from such domestic tyrants" 

Harvard has not been free from those insurrectionary ebulli- 
tions common to universities. In most instances they have 
originated in Commons Hall; the grievances of the stomach, 
if not promptly redressed, leading to direful results. Sydney 
Smith once remarked, that " old friendships are destroyed by 
toasted cheese, and hard salted meat has led to suicide." The 
stomachs of the students seem, on sundry occasions, to have 
been no less sensitive. 

In 1674 all the scholars, except three or four whose friends 
lived in Cambridge, left the College. In the State archives 
exists a curious document relative to a difficulty about com- 
mons at an early period in the history of the College. It is the 
11 p 



242 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

confession of Kathaniel Eaton and wife, who were cited before 
the General Court for misdemeanors in providing diet for the 
students. In Mrs. Eaton's confession the following passage 
occurs : — 

" And for bad fish, that they had it brought to table, I am sorry 
there was that cause of offence given them. I acknowledge my sin 
in it. And for their mackerel, brought to them with their guts in 
them, and goat's dung in their hasty pudding, its utterly unknown 
to me ; but I am much ashamed it should be in the family and not 
prevented by myself or servants and I humbly acknowledge my 
negligence in it." 

The affair of the resignation of Dr. Langdon has been men- 
tioned. In 1807 there was a general revolt of all the classes 
against their commons, which brought the affairs of the College 
nearly to a stand for about a month. The classes, having en 
masse refused to attend commons, were considered in the light 
of outlaws by the government, and were obliged to subscribe to 
a form of apology dictated by it to obtain readmission. Many 
refused to sign a confession a little humiliating, and left the 
College ; b'ut the greater number of the prodigals accepted the 
alternative, though we do not learn that any fatted calf was 
killed to celebrate the feturn of harmony. This was -during 
Dr. Webber's presidency. 

The students have ever been imbued with strong patriotic 
feelings. In 1768 the Seniors unanimously agreed to take their 
degrees at Commencement dressed in black cloth of the manu- 
facture of the country. In 1812 they proceeded in a body to 
work on the forts in Boston harbor. In the great Eebellion the 
names of Harvard's sons are inscribed among the heroic, living 
or dead for their country. 

The seal of Harvard was " adopted at the first meeting of the 
governors of the College after the first charter was obtained. 
On the 27th of December, 1643, a College seal was adopted, 
having, as at present, three open books on the field of an 
heraldic shield, with the motto Veritas inscribed." This, says 
Mr. Quincy, is the only seal which has the sanction of any 
record. The first seal actually used had the motto "In Christi 



A DAY AT HARVARD, CONTINUED. 243 

Gloriam," which conveys the. idea of a school of theology, and 
is indirectly sanctioned by the later motto, Christo et Ecclesice. 

The Americans threw up works on the College green in 
1775, which were probably among the earliest erected by the 
Colony forces. They were begun in May, and extended towards 
the river. An aged resident of Cambridge informed the writer 
that a fort had existed in what is now Holyoke Place, leading 
from Mount Auburn Street, — a point which may be assumed 
to indicate the right flank of the first position. The lines in 
the vicinity of the College were carefully effaced, some few 
traces being remarked in 1824. They were, in all probability, 
hastily planned, and soon abandoned for the Dana Hill posi- 
tion, by which they were commanded. 

The first official action upon fortifications which appears on 
record is the recommendation of a joint committee of the Com- 
mittee of Safety and the council of war — a body composed of 
the general officers — to throw up works on Charlestown road, 
a redoubt on what is supposed to have been Prospect Hill to 
be armed with 9-pounders, and a strong redoubt on Bunker 
Hill to be mounted with cannon. These works were proposed 
on the 1 2th of May. The reader knows that the execution of 
the last-named work brought on the battle on that ground. 

Ever since Lexington the Americans looked for another sally 
of the royal forces. They expected it would be by way of 
Charlestown, and have the camps at Cambridge for its object. 
By landing a force on Charlestown Keck, which the command 
of the water always enabled them to do, the enemy were within 
a little more than two miles of headquarters, while a force 
coming from Roxbury side must first beat Thomas's troops sta- 
tioned there, and then have a long detour of several miles be- 
fore they could reach the river, where the passage might be 
expected to be blocked by the destruction of the bridge, and 
would at any rate cost a severe action, under great disadvantage, 
to have forced. A landing along the Cambridge shore was im- 
practicable. It was a continuous marsh, intersected here and 
there by a few farm-roads, impassable for artillery, without 
which the king's troops would not have moved. The Lexing- 



244 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

ton expedition forced its way through these marshes with 
inlinite difficulty. The English commander might land his 
troops at Ten Hills, as had already been done ; but to prevent 
this was the object of the possession of Bunker Hill. He was 
therefore reduced to the choice of the two great highways lead- 
ing into Boston, with the advantages greatly in favor of that 
which passed on the side of Charlestown. 

The advanced post of the Americans on old Charlestown 
road, which was meant to secure the camp on this side, 
was near the point where it is now intersected by Beacon 
Street. It was distant about five eighths of a mile from Cam- 
bridge Common. The road, which has here been straightened, 
formerly curved towards the north, crossing the head of the 
west fork of Willis Creek (Miller's Eiver), by what was called 
Pillon Bridge. The road also passed over the east branch of 
the same stream near the present crossing of the Pitchburg 
Bailway, where a mere rivulet appears to indicate its vicinity. 
The works at Pillon Bridge were on each side of the road ; that 
on the north running up the declivity of the hill now crossed 
by Park Street, and occupying a commanding site. The ex- 
istence of a watercourse here may still be traced in the vener- 
able willows which once skirted its banks, and even by the dry 
bed of the stream itself. The bridge, according to appearances, 
was situated seventy-five or a hundred yards north of the pres- 
ent point of junction of the two roads, now known as Wash- 
ington and Beacon Streets. At the Cambridge line the former 
takes the name of Kirkland Street. 



CAMBBIDGE CAMP. 245 



CHAPTEE XL 

CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 

" Father and I went down to camp 
Along with Captain Gooding, 
And there we see the men and boys 
As thick as hasty pudding." 

THERE is a certain historical coincidence in the fact that 
the armies of the Parliament in England and of the 
Congress in America were each mustered in Cambridge. Old 
Cambridge, in 1642-43, was generally for the king, and the 
University tried unsuccessfully to send its plate out of Oliver's 
reach. In 1775 the wealth and influence of American Cam- 
bridge were also for the king, but the University was stanch 
for the Revolution. 

We confess we should like to see, on a spot so historic as 
Cambridge Common, an equestrian statue to George Washing- 
ton, "Pater, Liberator, Defensor Patriae." Besides being the 
muster-field where the American army of the Revolution had 
its being, it is consecrated by other memories. It was the 
place of arms of the settlers of 1G31, who selected it for their 
strong fortress and intrenched camp. Within this field the 
flag of thirteen stripes was first unfolded to the air. We have 
already had occasion to refer to the uprising of Middlesex in 
1774, when the crown servitors resident in Cambridge had their 
judicial commissions revoked in the name of the people. It 
was also the place where George the Third's speech, sent out by 
the " Boston gentry," was committed to the flames. 

Before reviewing the Continental camp, a brief retrospect of 
the military organization of the early colonists will not be 
deemed inappropriate. In the year 1644 the militia was or- 
ganized, and the old soldier, Dudley, appointed major-general. 
Endicott was the next incumbent of this new office ; Gibbons, 



246 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the third, had first commanded the Suffolk regiments; Sedg- 
wick, the fourth, the Middlesex regiment. After Sedgwick 
came Atlierton, Denison, Leverett, and Gookin, who was the 
last major-general under the old charter. These officers were 
also styled sergeants major-general, a title borrowed from Old 
England. They were chosen annually by the freemen, at the 
same time as the governor and assistants, while the other mili- 
tary officers held for life\ 

Old Edward Johnson, describing the train-bands in Gibbons's 
time, says his forts were in good repair, his artillery well 
mounted and cleanly kept, half-cannon, culverins, and sakers, 
as also fieldpieces of brass, very ready for service. . 

A soldier in 1630-40 wore a steel cap or head-piece, breast 
and back piece, buff coat, bandoleer, containing his powder, and 
carried a matchlock. He was also armed with a long sword 
suspended by a belt from the shoulder. In the time of Philip's 
War the Colony forces were provided with blunderbusses and also 
with hand-grenadoes, which were found effectual in driving the 
Indians from an ambush. A. troop at this time numbered sixty 
horse, besides the officers', all well mounted and completely 
armed with back, breast, head-piece, buff coat, sword, carbine, 
and pistols. Each of the twelve troops in the Colony were 
distinguished by their coats. In time of war the pay of a cap- 
tain of horse was £ 6 per month ; of a captain of foot, £ 4 ; of a 
private soldier, one shilling a day. Military punishments were 
severe ; the strapado, or riding the wooden horse so as to bring 
the blood, being commonly inflicted for offences one grade be- 
low the death-penalty. The governor had the chief command, 
but the major-generals did not take the field, their offices being 
more for profit than for fighting. 

With improved fire-arms, when battles were no more to be 

decided by hand-to-hand encounters, armor gradually went out 

of fashion. 

" Farewell, then, ancient men of might ! 
■ Crusader, errant-squire, and knight ! 
Our coats and customs soften ; 
To rise would only make you weep ; 
Sleep onj in rusty iron sleep, 
As in a safety coffin." 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 247 

Bayonets as first used in England (about 1680) had a 
wooden haft, which was inserted in the mouth of the piece, 
answering thus the purpose of a partisan. The French, with 
whom the weapon originated, anticipated the English in fixing 
it with a socket. A French and British regiment in one of the 
wars of William III. encountered in Flanders, where this dif- 
ference in the manner of using the bayonet was near deciding 
the day in favor of the French battalion. This weapon, once 
so important that the British infantry made it their peculiar 
boast, is now seldom used, except perhaps as a defence against 
cavalry. Some confidence it still gives to the soldier, but its 
most important function in these days of long-range small- 
arms is the splendor with which it invests the array of a bat- 
talion as it stands on parade. We do not know of a com- 
mander who would now order a bayonet-charge, although in 
the early battles of the Revolution it often turned the scale 
against us. 

After the battle of Lexington the Committee of Safety re- 
solved to enlist eight thousand men for seven months. A com- 
pany was to consist of one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, 
four sergeants, a drummer and fifer, and seventy privates. 
Nine companies formed a regiment, of which the field-officers 
were a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major. Each of the 
field-officers had a company which was called his own, as 
each of the general officers, beginning with Ward himself, had 
his regiment. The aggregate of the rank and file was, two 
days afterward, reduced to fifty. This must be considered 
as the first organization of the army of the Thirteen Colo- 
nies, — as they afterwards adopted it as their own, — the army 
which fought at Bunker Hill, and opened the trenches around 
Boston. 

This Common was the grand parade of the army. Here 
were formed every morning, under supervision of the Brigadier 
of the Day, the guards for Lechmere's Point, Cobble Hill, 
White House, North, South, and Middle Redoubts, Lechmere's 
Point tete clu pont, and the main guards for Winter Hill, 
Prospect Hill, and Cambridge. Hither were marched the de- 



248 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

tachments which assembled on their regimental parades at 
eight o'clock. Arms, accoutrements, and clothing underwent 
the scrutiny of Greene, Sullivan, or Heath. This finished, 
the grand guard broke off into small bodies, which marched 
to their designated stations to the music of the fife and 
drum. 

We may here mention that the " ear-piercing fife " was in- 
troduced into the British army after the campaign of Flanders 
in 1748. This instrument was first adopted by the Eoyal 
Regiment of Artillery, the musicians receiving their instruction 
from John Ulrich, a Hanoverian fifer, brought from Flanders 
by Colonel Belford when the allied army separated. Nothing 
puts life into the soldier like this noisy little reed. You shall 
see a band of weary, footsore men, after a long march, fall into 
step, close up their ranks, and move on, a serried phalanx, at 
the scream of the fife. 

Fortunate indeed was he who witnessed this old-fashioned 
guard-mount, where the first efforts to range in order the non- 
descript battalia must have filled the few old soldiers present 
with despair. There was no uniformity in weapons, dress, or 
equipment, and until the arrival of Washington not an epau- 
lette in camp. The officers could not have been picked out of 
the line for any insignia of rank or superiority of attire over 
the common soldiers. Some, perhaps, had been fortunate 
enough to secure a gorget, a sword, or espontoon, but all car- 
ried their trusty fusees. All that went to make up the outward 
pomp of the soldier was wanting. Compared with the scarlet 
uniforms, burnished arms, and compact files of the troops to 
whom they were opposed, our own poor fellows were the veriest 
ragamuffins ; but the contrast in this was not more striking 
than were the different motives with which each combated : 
the Briton fought the battle of his king, the American soldier 
his own. 

The curse of the American army was in the short enlistments. 
Men were taken for two, three, and six months, and scarcely 
arrived in camp before they infected it with that dangerous dis- 
ease, homesickness. The same experience awaited the nation in 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 249 

the great civil war. In truth, if history is philosophy teaching 
by example, we make little progress in forming armies out of 
the crude material. 

If the Americans were so contemptible in infantry, they were 
even more so in artillery, — as for cavalry, it was a thing as 
yet unknown in an army in which many field-officers could not 
obtain a mount. The enemy was well supplied with field and 
siege pieces, abundant supplies of which had been sent out, 
while the reserves of the Castle and fleet were drawn upon 
as circumstances demanded. The unenterprising spirit of the 
British commander rendered all this disparity much less alarm- 
ing than it would have been with a Carleton or Cornwallis, 
instead of a Gage or Howe. An eyewitness relates that 

" The British appeared so inoffensive that the Americans enjoyed 
at Cambridge the conviviality of the season. The ladies of the prin- 
cipal American officers repaired to the camp. Civility and mutual 
forbearance appeared between the officers of the royal and conti- 
nental armies, and a frequent interchange of flags was indulged for 
the gratification of the different partisans." 

The earliest arrangement of this chrysalis of an army was 
about as follows. The regiments were encamped in tents as 
fast as possible, but as this supply soon gave out, old sails, con- 
tributed by the seaport towns, were issued as a substitute. 
Patterson's, Whitcomb's, Doolittle's, and Gridley's pitched their 
tents, and were soon joined under canvas by Glover. Nixon's 
lay on Charlestown road ; a part of the regiment in Mr. Fox- 
croft's barn. The houses were at first used chiefly as hospitals 
for the sick. Patterson's hospital was in Andrew Boardman's 
house, near his encampment ; Gridley's, in Mr. Eobshaw's. 
Sheriff Phip's house was hospital No. 2, over which Dr. Duns- 
more presided. Drs. John Warren, Isaac Eand, William Eustis, 
James Thacher, Isaac Poster, and others officiated in the hospi- 
tals, under the chief direction of Dr. Church. John Pigeon 
was commissary-general to the forces. 

We are able to give an exact return of all the regiments in 
Cambridge on the 10th of July, 1775, with the number of men 
in each : — 

11 * 



250 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



Jonathan Ward, 


505. 


James Scammon, 


529. 


William Prescott, 


487. 


Thomas Gardner, 


334. 


Asa Whitcomb, 


571. 


Jonathan Brewer, 


373. 


Ephraim Doolittle, 


351. 


B. Buggies Woodbridge, 


343. 


James Fry, 


473. 


Paul Dudley Sargeant, 


192. 


Richard Gridley, 


445. 


Samuel Gerrish, 


258. 


John Nixon, 


482. 


John Mansfield, 


507. 


John Glover, 


519. 


Edmund Phinney, 


163. 


John Patterson, 


492. 


J\ioses Little, 


543. 


Ebenezer Bridge, 


509. 







Two companies of Bond's and two of Gerrish's were at Mecl- 
ford, Maiden, and Chelsea. Phinney had only three companies 
in camp. This seems to have been before the troops were 
arranged in grand divisions and newly brigaded by Washing- 
ton. The aggregate of the troops in Cambridge presented by 
the above return was 8,076, of which probably not many in 
excess of six thousand were for duty. Under the new arrange- 
ment of forces Scammon's was ordered to No. 1 and the redoubt 
on the flank of No. 2, Heath's to No. 2, Patterson to No. 3, 
and Prescott to Sewall's Point. On the 10th. of January, 1 776, 
when the returns of the whole army only amounted to 8,212 
men, but 5,582 were returned fit for duty. 

Gridley calls for fa-scines, gabions, pickets, etc., for the bat- 
teries, and makes' requisitions for the service of a siege-train. 
The artillery, such as it was, but lately dragged from places of 
concealment, was without carriages, horses, or harness. There 
were no intrenching tools except such as could be obtained of 
private persons, no furnaces for casting shot, — no anything 
but pluck and resolution, and of that there was enough and to 
spare. 

Armorers were set to work repairing the men's firelocks. 
Knox, Burbeck, Crane, Mason, and Crafts mounted the artil- 
lery. Sailmakers were employed making tents, carpenters to 
build barracks, and shoemakers and tailors as fast as they 
could be obtained, — the former in making shoes, cartouch- 
boxes, etc., the latter in clothing the soldiers. Shipwrights 
were building bateaux on the river. In this condition of ac- 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 251 

tivity and chaos Washington found his army, and realized, per- 
haps for the first time, the magnitude of the work before him. 
From the Mystic to the Charles and from the Charles to the 
sea the air echoed to the sound of the hammer or the blows- of 
the axe, the crash of falling trees or the word of command. 
Another Carthage might have been rebuilding by another 
Caesar, and the ground trembled beneath the tread of armed 
men. 

Imagine such an army, without artillery or effective small- 
arms, without magazines or discipline, and unable to execute 
the smallest tactical manoeuvre should their lines be forced at 
any point, laying siege to a town containing ten thousand 
troops, the first in the world. It was, moreover, without a flag 
or a commander having absolute authority until Washington 
came. 

Picture to yourself a grimy figure behind a rank of gabions, 
his head wrapped in an old bandanna, a short pipe between his 
teeth, stripped of his upper garments, his lower limbs encased 
in leather breeches, yarn stockings, and hob-nailed shoes, indus- 
triously plying mattock or spade, and your provincial soldier 
of '75 stands before you. Multiply him by ten thousand, and 
you have the provincial army. 

It is certain that no common flag had been adopted by any 
authority up to February, 1776, though the flag of thirteen 
stripes had been displayed in January. The following extract 
from a regimental order book will answer the oft-repeated in- 
quiry as to whether the contingents from the different Colonies 
fought under the same flag in 1775 : 

"Head Quarters 20th February 1776. 
" Parole Manchester : Countersign Boyle. 

" As it is necessary that every regiment should be furnished with 
colours and that those colours bear some kind of similitude to the 
regiment to which they belong, the colonels with their respective 
Brigadiers and with the Q. M. G. may fix upon any such as are 
proper and can be procured. There must be for each regiment the 
standard for regimental colours and colours for each grand division, 
the whole to be small and light. The number of the regiment is to 



252 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

be marked oh the colours and such a motto as the colonels may 
choose, in fixing upon which the general advises a consultation 
among them. The colonels are to delay no time in getting the mat- 
ter fix'd that the Q. M. General may provide the colours for them as 
soon as possible. G? Washington." 

Washington's first requisition on arriving in camp was for 
one hundred axes and bunting for colors. At the battle of 
Long Island, fought August, 1776, a regimental color of red 
damask, having only the word " Liberty " on the field, was 
captured by the British. As late as Monmouth there were no 
distinctive colors. 

The whipping-post, where minor offences against military law 
were expiated, was to be met with in every camp. The prison- 
ers received the sentence of the court-martial on their naked 
backs; from twenty to forty lashes (the limit of the Jewish 
law) with a cat-o'-nine-tails being the usual punishment. This 
barbarous custom, inherited from the English service, was long 
retained in the American army. Its disuse in the navy is too 
recent to need special mention. Incorrigible offenders were 
drummed out of camp ; but though there are instances of the 
death-penalty having been adjudged by courts-martial, there is 
not a recorded case of military execution in the American army 
during the whole siege. 

The men in general were healthy, — much more so in Rox- 
bury than in Cambridge, and Thomas had the credit of keep- 
ing his camps in excellent order. In July, 1776, a company 
of ship carpenters was raised and sent to General Schuyler .at 
Albany for service on the lakes. A company of bread-bakers 
was another feature of our camp. 

The troops did not pile or stack their arms. They had few 
bayonets. The custom was to rest the guns upon wooden 
horses made for the purpose. In wet weather they were taken 
into the tents or quarters. We have dwelt upon details that 
may appear trivial, unless the reconstruction of the Continental 
camps, with fidelity in all things, and dedicated in all honor to 
the patriot army, be our sufficient warrant. 

Pope Day, the anniversary of Guy Fawkes's abortive plot 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 253 

(November 5, 1605), had long been observed in the Colonies. 
It was proposed to celebrate it in the American camp on the 
return of the day in 1775, but General Washington character- 
ized it as a ridiculous and childish custom, and expressed his 
surprise that there should be officers and men in the army so 
void of common-sense as not to see its impropriety at a time 
when the Colonies were endeavoring to bring Canada into 
an alliance with themselves against the common enemy. The 
General argued that the Canadians, who were largely Catholic, 
would feel their religion insulted. The British, on the con- 
trary, celebrated the day with salvos of artillery. As the crisis 
of the siege approached, Washington sternly forbade all games 
of chance. 

The glorious evening in June came, when the dark clusters 
of men gathered on the greensward for Breed's Hill. Silently 
they stood while Dr. Langdon knelt on the threshold of yonder 
house and prayed for their good speed. The men tighten their 
belts and feel if their flints are firmly fixed. Their faces we 
cannot see, but we warrant their teeth are shut hard, and a 
strange light, the gleam of battle, is in their eyes. A nocturnal 
march, with conflict at the end of it, will try the nerves of the 
stoutest soldier. What will it then do for men who have yet 
to fire a shot in anger 1 They whisper together, and we know 
what they say, — 

' ' To-morrow, comrade, we 
On the battle plain must be, 
There to conquer or both lie low ! " 

Some one who has fairly judged of the raw recruit in general 
doubts if the Americans reserved their fire at Bunker Hill. 
The answer is conclusive. As the enemy marched to the attack 
a few scattering shots were fired at them, soon checked by the 
leaders. This is the testimony of both sides, and is, in this 
case, perhaps, exceptional. But the best answer is in the 
enemy's frightful list of casualties, — a thousand and more 
men are not placed hors du combat in less than two hours by 
indiscriminate popping. 

The first attempts at uniforming the Continentals were any- 



254 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

thing but successful, the absence of cloth, except the homespun 
of the country, rendering it impracticable. Chester's company, 
which was clothed in blue turned up with red, is the only one 
in uniform at the battle of Bunker Hill of which we have any 
account. In Edmund Phinney's regiment, stationed in Boston 
after the departure of the English, the men were supplied with 
coats and double-breasted jackets of undyed cloth, just as it 
came from the looms, turned up with burl' facings. They had 
also blue breeches, felt hats with narrow brims and white bind- 
ing. Another regiment, being raised in the same town, wore 
black faced with red. The motto on the button was, " Inimica 
Tyrannis" above a hand with a naked sword. During this 
year (1776) homespun or other coats, brown or any other color, 
made large and - full-lapelled, with facings of the same or of 
white, cloth jackets without sleeves, cloth or leather breeches, 
large felt hats, and yarn stockings of all colors, were purchased 
by the Continental agents. Smallwpod's Maryland regiment 
was clothed in red, but Washington eventually prohibited this 
color, for obvious reasons. In November, 1776, Paul Jones 
captured an armed vessel, which had 6n board ten thousand 
complete sets of uniform, destined for the troops in Canada 
under Carleton and Burgoyne. The American levies . in the 
British service were first attired^ in green, which they finally 
and with heavy hearts exchanged for red, as a prelude to their 
being drafted into British regiments. 

The term " Continent " was applied to the thirteen Colonies 
early in 1776, to distinguish their government from that of 
the Provinces, and hence the name Continental, as applied to 
the army of their adoption. 

The surroundings of Cambridge Common invite our attention, 
and of these the old gambrel-roof house, situated between Kirk- 
land Street and North Avenue, naturally claims precedence. 
To the present generation this is known as the birthplace of 
our Autocrat of the Breakfast-table, our songster in many keys, 
ever welcome in any guise, whether humorous, pathetic, or 
even a little satirical withal. It was a good house to be born 
in, and does honor to the poet's choice, as his bouquet of 




CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 255 

fragrant memories, culled for the readers of the " Atlantic," 
does honor to the pOet's self. It is certainly no disadvantage 
to have first drawn breath in a house which 
was the original headquarters of the Ameri- 
can army of the Eevolution, and in which 
the battle of Bunker Hill was planned and 
ordered. The old house is pleasant to look 
at, though built originally for nothing more 
pretending than a farm-house. It has a 
thoroughly sturdy and honest look, like its 
old neighbor, the President's house, and in 
nothing except its yellow and white paint 
does it seem to counterfeit the royalist man- wendell. 

sions of Tory Eow. The Professor tells us it once had a row 
of Lombardy poplars on the west, but now not a single speci- 
men of the tree can be found of the many that once stood 
stiffly up at intervals around the Common. The building 
fronts the south, with the College edifices of its own time 
drawn up in ugly array before it. Beyond, in unobstructed 
view, are the Square, the church with its lofty steeple, and its 
Anglican neighbor of the lowlier tower, where, — 

" Like sentinel and mm they keep 
Their vigil on the green ; 
One seems to guard and one to weep 
The dead that lie between." 

The west windows look upon the Common, with its beautiful 
monument in its midst, and bordered by other houses with 
walls as familiar to the scenes of a hundred years ago as are 
those of our present subject. Were we to indulge our fancy, 
we might as easily invest these old houses with the gift of 
vision through their many glassy eyes, as to give ears to their 
walls ; we might imagine their looks of recognition, doubtful of 
their own identity, amid the changes which time has wrought 
in their vicinage. 

It is at least a singular chance that fixed the homes of Long- 
fellow, Holmes, Lowell, Hawthorne, and Everett in houses of 
greater or less historic celebrity ; but it is not merely a coinci- 



256 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

dence that has given these authors a decided preference for his- 
torical subjects. All are students of history ; all either are or 
have been valued members of our historical societies. Evan- 
geline, The Scarlet Letter, and Old Ironsides are pledges that 
the more striking subjects have not escaped them. 

In the roll of proprietors of the old gambrel-roof house, which 
Dr. Holmes supposes to be about one hundred and fifty years 
old, but which we should judge even more ancient, the first to 
appear is Jabez Fox, described as a tailor, of Boston, to whom 
the estate was allotted in 1707, and whose heirs sold it to 
Farmer Jonathan Hastings thirty years later, with the four 
acres of land pertaining to the messuage. 

The first Jonathan Hastings is the same to whom Gordon 
attributes the origin of the word "yankee." He says : — 

" It was a cant, favorite word with Farmer Jonathan Hastings of 
Cambridge about 1713. Two aged ministers who were at the College 
in that town have told me they remembered it to have been then 
in use among the students, but had no recollection of it before that 
period. The inventor used it to express excellency. A Yankee 
good horse, or Yankee good cider v and the like, were an excellent 
good horse and excellent cider. The students used to hire horses of 
him, and the use of the term upon all occasions led them to adopt 
it, and they gave him the name of Yankee Jon." 

Gordon supposes that the students, upon leaving College, 
circulated the name through the country, as the phrase " Hob- 
son's choice " was established by the students at Cambridge, in 
Old England, though the latter derivation is disputed by Mr. 
Ker, who calls it " a Cambridge hoax." 

The second Jonathan Hastings, long the College Steward, 
was born in 1708, graduated at Harvard in 1730, and died in 
1783, aged seventy-five. It was during his occupancy that the 
house acquired its paramount importance. He was appointed 
postmaster of Cambridge in July, 1775, as the successor of 
James Winthrop ; and his son Jonathan, who graduated at 
Harvard in 1768, was afterwards postmaster of Boston. Walter 
Hastings, also of this family, was a surgeon of the 27th regi- 
ment of foot (American), from Chelmsford, at the battle of 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 257 

Bunker Hill, and rendered efficient service there. Walter 
Hastings, of Boston, lias a pair of gold sleeve-buttons worn by 
his grandsire on that day. His father, Walter Hastings, com- 
manded Fort Warren, now Fort Winthrop, in 1812. 

As early as April 24, 1775, and perhaps immediately after 
the battle of Lexington, the Committee of Safety established 
themselves in this house, and here were concerted all those 
measures for the organization of the army created by the Provin- 
cial Congress. It was here Captain Benedict Arnold reported 
on the 29th of April with a company from Connecticut, and 
made the proposal for the attempt on Ticonderoga, prompted 
by his daring disposition. It was, without doubt, in the right- 
hand room, on the lower floor, that Arnold received his first 
commission as colonel from the Committee, May 3, 1775, and 
his orders to raise a force and seize the strong places on the 
lakes. Thus Massachusetts has the dubious honor of having 
first commissioned this eminent traitor, whose authority was 
signed by another traitor, Benjamin Church, but whose treason 
was not then developed. 

" 'T is here but yet confused : 
Knavery's plain face is never seen till used." 

Arnold was the first to give information in relation to the 
number and calibre of the armament at Ticonderoga. 

As all that relates to this somewhat too celebrated personage 
has a certain interest, we give the substance of a private letter 
from a gentleman who was in Europe when General Arnold 
arrived there, and whose acquaintance in diplomatic circles 
placed him in a position to be well informed. 

The revolution in England respecting the change of ministry 
was very sudden, and supposed to have been influenced by the 
honest representations of Lord Cornwallis relative to the im- 
practicability of reducing America, which rendered that gen- 
tleman not so welcome in England to the late Ministry as his 
brother-passenger, General Arnold, who, from encouraging in- 
formation in favor of the conquest of America, was received 
with open arms by the king, caressed by the ministers, and 

Q 



258 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

all imaginable attention showed him by all people on that side 
of the question. He was introduced to the king in town, with 
whom he had the honor of many private conferences ; and was 
seen walking with the Prince of Wales and the king's brother 
in the public gardens. The queen was so interested in favor 
of Mrs. Arnold as to desire the ladies of the court to pay much 
attention to her. On the other hand, the papers daily con- 
tained such severe strokes at Arnold as would have made 
any other man despise himself; and the then opposition, after- 
wards in power, had so little regard for him, that one day, 
he being in the lobby of the House of Commons, a motion 
was about to be made to have it cleared in order to get him 
out of it, but upon the member (the Earl of Surrey) being 
assured that he would not appear there again, the motion was 
not made. 

The name of the corporal who with eight privates constituted 
the crew of the barge in which Arnold made his escape from 
West Point to the Yulture, was James Lurvey, of Colonel 
Rufus Putnam's regiment. He is believed to have come from 
Worcester County. Arnold meanly endeavored to seduce the 
corporal from his flag by the offer of a commission in the Brit- 
ish service, but the honest fellow replied, " No, sir ; one coat is 
enough for me to wear at a time." 

This mansion was probably occupied by General Ward at a 
time not far from coincident with its possession by the Commit- 
tee of Safety, but of this there is no other evidence than that 
his frequent consultations with that body would seem to render 
it necessary. He received his commission as commander-in- 
chief of the Massachusetts forces on the 20th of May, 1775, at 
which time headquarters were unquestionably established here. 
It must be borne in mind, however, that the committee exer- 
cised the supreme authority of directing all military movements, 
and that General Ward was a subordinate. 

The fact that this was the Provincial headquarters has been 
doubtfully stated from time to time, but is settled by the fol- 
lowing extract from the Provincial records, dated June 21, 
1775: — 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 259 

" Whereas, a great number of horses have been, from time to 
time, put into the stables and yard of Mr. Hastings, at headquarters, 
not belonging to the Colony, the Committee of Safety, or the gen- 
eral officers, their aids-de-camp, or post-riders, to the great expense 
of the public and inconvenience of the committee, generals, &c." 

General Ward's principal motive for quitting the army was a 
painful disease, which prevented his mounting his horse. His 
personal intrepidity and resolution are well illustrated by the 
following incident of Shays's Eebellion. 

The General was then chief justice of the court to be held in 
Worcester, September, 1786. On the morning the court was to 
open, the Eegulators, under Adam Wheeler, were in possession 
of the Court House. The judges had assembled at the house 
ol Hon. Joseph Allen. At the usual hour they, together with 
the justices of the sessions and members of the bar, moved in 
procession to the Court House. 

A sentinel challenged the advance of the procession, bringing 
his musket to the charge. General Ward sternly ordered him 
to recover his piece. The man, an old soldier of Ward's own 
regiment, awed by his manner, obeyed. Passing through, the 
multitude, which gave way in sullen silence, the cortege reached 
the Court House steps, where were stationed a file of men with 
fixed bayonets, Wheeler, with a drawn sword, being in front. 

The crier was allowed to open the doors, which, being done, 
displayed another party of infantry with loaded muskets, as if 
ready to fire. Judge Ward then advanced alone, and the bayo- 
nets were presented at his breast. He demanded, repeatedly, 
who commanded the people there, and the object of these hos- 
tile acts. Wheeler at length replied that they had met to 
prevent the sitting of the courts until they could obtain redress 
of grievances. The judge then desired to address the people, 
but the leaders, who feared the effect upon their followers, re- 
fused to permit him to be heard. The drums beat and the 
guard were ordered to charge. "The soldiers advanced until 
the points of their bayonets pressed hard upon the breast of the 
chief justice, who stood immovable as a statue, without stirring 
a limb or yielding an inch, although the steel, in the hands of 



260 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

desperate men, penetrated his dress. Struck with admiration 
by his intrepidity, the guns were removed, and Judge Ward, 
ascending the steps, addressed the assembly." 

" Says sober Will, well Shays has fled, 
And peace returned to bless our days. 
Indeed, cries Ned, I always said, 
He 'd prove at last a, fall back Shays." 

When the army first assembled under Ward, officers were 
frequently stopped by sentinels for want of any distinguishing 
badge of rank. This led to an order that they should wear 
ribbons across the breast, — red for the highest grade, blue for 
colonels, and other colors according to rank. 

It is well known that Washington spoke of the resignation 
of General Ward, after the evacuation of Boston, in a manner 
approaching contempt. His observations, then confidentially 
made, about some of the other generals, were not calculated to 
flatter their amour propre or that of their descendants. It is 
said that General Ward, learning long afterwards the remark 
that had been applied to him, accompanied by a friend, waited 
on his old chief at New York, and asked him if it was true that 
he had used such language. The President replied that he did 
not know, but that he kept copies of all his letters, and would 
take an early opportunity of examining them. Accordingly, at 
the next session of Congress (of which General Ward was a 
member), he again called with his friend, and was informed by 
the President that he had really written as alleged. Ward then 
said, " Sir, you are no gentleman" and turning on his heel 
quitted the room. 

It is certain that the seizure of Dorchester Heights was re- 
solved upon early in May, 1775, or nearly a year before it was 
finally done by Washington. Information conveyed to the 
besiegers from Boston made it evident that the enemy were 
meditating a movement, which we now know from General 
Burgoyne was to have been first directed upon the heights of 
Dorchester, and secondly upon Charlestown. 

On the 9th of May, at a council of war at headquarters, the 
question proposed whether such part of the militia should be 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 261 

called, in to join the forces at Roxbury as would be sufficient 
to enable them to take possession of and defend Dorchester If ill, 
as well as to maintain the camp at Roxbury, was passed unani- 
mously in the affirmative. Samuel Osgood, Ward's major of 
brigade, signed the record of the vote. On the 10th of May 
an order was sent to all the colonels of the army to repair to 
the town of Cambridge, — " as we are meditating a blow at 
our restless enemies," — the general officers were directed to 
call in all the enlisted men, and none were allowed to depart 
the camps till the further orders of Congress. 

For some reason the enterprise was abandoned, but it shows 
that both belligerents were fully conscious from the first that 
the heights of Dorchester and Charlestown were the keys to 
Boston. Burgoyne says the descent on Dorchester was finally 
to have been executed on the 18th of June, and gives the par- 
ticulars of the plan of operations, — a scheme which the in- 
trenchment on the heights of Charlestown rendered abortive. 

The next whose personality is involved with the old house 
is Joseph Warren. The account preserved in the Hastings 
family is, that the patriot President-general was much pleased 
with Rebecca Hastings, Avho was then residing with her father, 
the College steward. The previous day the General had pre- 
sided at the deliberations of the Congress at Watertown, where 
lie passed the night, coming down to Cambridge in the morning. 
His steps tended most naturally to the old house where were 
his associates of the Committee, and the commanding general. 
There was perhaps a fair face at the window welcoming him 
with a smile as he, for the last time, drew up before the gate 
and alighted from his chaise. 

Warren, risen from a sick-bed, to which overwork and mental 
anxiety had consigned him, dressed himself with more than 
ordinary care, and, silencing the remonstrances of his more 
cautious colleague, Elbridge Gerry, proceeded to the scene of 
action at Bunker Hill on foot. 

The old farm-house is not yet to lose its claim as a visible 
memorial of the varying destinies through which our country 
passed. Washington made it his headquarters upon his arrival 



262 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

at camp, remaining in it three days, or until arrangements for 
his permanent residence could be made. He first dined at 
Cambridge with General Ward and his officers, — an occasion 
when all restraint appears to have been cast aside in the sponta- 
neous welcome which was extended him. After dinner Adjutant 
Gibbs, of Glover's, was hoisted (English fashion), chair and all, 
upon the table, and gave the company a rollicking bachelor's 
song, calculated to make the immobile features of the chief 
relax. It was a generous, hearty greeting of comrades in arms. 
Glasses clinked, stories were told, and the wine circulated. 
Washington was a man ; we do not question that he laughed, 
talked, and toasted with the rest. 

The headquarters being here already, it was natural for the 
General to choose to remain for the present where the archives, 
staff, and auxiliary machinery enabled him to examine the 
condition and resources of the army he came to command. 
Consultations with General Ward were necessarily frequent. 
It was no doubt in this house Washington penned his first 
official despatches. 

Eliphalet Pearson, Professor of Hebrew and Oriental lan- 
guages, became the next inhabitant after what may be called 
the Restoration, when the sway of warlike men gave place 
on classic ground to the old reign of letters. Professor 
Pearson was noted for the sternness of his orthodoxy, as ex- 
hibited in his resistance to the entrance of Rev. Henry Ware 
into the Hollis professorship, and for his opposition to Andrew 
Craigie's efforts to secure a charter for his bridge, — efforts 
exerted in both instances for the behoof of the College, though 
in widely different spheres of action. 

Following him came Rev. Abiel Holmes, pastor of the First 
Church, early historian of Cambridge, whose ministry was 
suspended by a revolution in his parish, which resulted in 
the overthrow of the old and the elevation of the new. Dr. 
Holmes's widow, the daughter of Judge Oliver Wendell, con- 
tinued to live in the house some time after the decease of her 
husband in 1837. Oliver Wendell Holmes, their son, did not 
permanently reside in the old house after he left college. 



CAMBRIDGE CAMP. 263 

The lines to Old Ironsides, to which allusion has been made, 
were composed in this old house when the poet was twenty 
years old. They were written in pencil, and first printed in 
the " Boston Daily Advertiser." Genuine wrath at the pro- 
posed breaking up of the old frigate impelled the young poet's 
burning lines : — 

'■' And one who listened to the tale of shame, 
Whose heart still answered to that sacred name, 
Whose eye still followed o'er his country's tides 
Thy glorious flag, our brave Old Ironsides ! 
From yon lone attic on a summer's morn, 
Thus mocked the spoilers with his school-boy scorn." 



264 MSTOKIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTEE XII. 

CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 

"The country of our fathers ! May its spirit keep it safe and its justice 
keep it free ! " 

PURSUING our circuit of the Common, " on hospitable 
thoughts intent," we ought briefly to pause before the 
whilom abode of Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. This house may 
justly claim to be one of the most ancient now remaining in 
Cambridge, having about it the marks of great age. The strong 
family resemblance which the dwellings of the period to which 
this belongs bear to each other renders a minute description of 
an individual specimen applicable to the greater number. 

Here are still some relics of the " American Jenner," and 
some that belonged to an even older inhabitant than he. In 
one apartment is a clock surmounted by the symbolic cow. At 
the head of the staircase, in an upper hall, is another clock, 
with an inscription which shows, it to have been presented, in 
1790, to Dr. Waterhouse, by Peter Oliver, former chief justice 
of the province. The old timekeeper requests its possessor to 
wind it on Christmas and on the 4th of July. There is also a 
crayon portrait of the Doctor's mother, done by Allston when 
an undergraduate at Harvard. The features of Henry Ware, 
another inhabitant of the house, look benignly down from a 
canvas on the wall. Some other articles may have belonged to 
William Yassall, who owned and occupied the house, probably 
as a summer residence, before the war. Still another occupant 
was the Rev. Winwood Serjeant, rector of Christ Church. 

Dr. Waterhouse is best remembered through his labors to 
introduce in this country vaccination, the discovery of Jenner, 
which encountered as large a share of ridicule and opposition as 
inoculation had formerly experienced. Several persons are 
still living who were vaccinated by Dr. Waterhouse. 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 265 

At one time the old barracks at Sewall's Point (Brookline) 
were used as a small-pox hospital. This was in the day of 
inoculation, when it was the fashion to send to a friend such 
missives as the following : — 

" I wish Lucy was here to have the small-pox. I wish you would 
persuade her to come here and have it. You can't think how light 
they have it." , 

The visitor will find some relics of the siege, at the State 
Arsenal on Garden Street, in several pieces of artillery mounted 
on sea-coast carriages and arranged within the enclosure. These 
guns were left in Boston by Sir William Howe, and, thanks to 
the care of General Stone, when that gentleman was adjutant- 
general of the State, were preserved from the sale of a number 
of similar trophies as old iron. As the disappearance of the 
arsenal may soon be expected, it is to be hoped that the State 
of Massachusetts can afford to keep these old war-dogs which 
bear the crest and cipher of Queen Anne and the Second 
George. The largest of the cannon is a 32-pounder. All 
have the broad arrow, but rust and weather have nearly 
obliterated the inscriptions impressed at the royal foundry. 
The oldest legible date is 1687. Besides these, are two di- 
minutive mortars or cohorns. Within one of the houses are 
two beautiful brass field-pieces, bearing the crown and lilies of 
Trance. Each has its name on the muzzle, — one being the 
Venus and the other Le Faucon, — and on the breech the 
imprint of the royal arsenal of Strasburg, with the dates 
respectively of 1760 and 1761. A further search revealed, 
hidden away in an obscure corner and covered with lumber, 
a Spanish piece, which, when brought to light by the aid of 
some workmen, was found literally covered with engraving, 
beautifully executed, delineating the Spanish Crown and the 
monogram of Carlos III. It is inscribed, — 

" El Uenado. 

Barcelona J8DE 

Deceiinbre De J767." 

Inquiry of the proper officials having failed to enlighten us 
12 



2GG HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

as to the possession of these cannon by the State, we conclude 
them to be a remnant of the field artillery sent us by France 
during the Eevolution. The Spaniard, when struck with a 
piece of metal, gave out a beautifully clear, melodious ring, as 
if it contained an alloy of silver, and brought to our mind those 
old slumberers on the ramparts of Panama, into whose yet molten 
mass the common people flung their silver reals, and the old 
dons their pieces of Eight, while the priest blessed the union 
with the baser metal and consecrated the whole to victory. 

Whitefield's Elm, under which that remarkable man preached 
in 1744, formerly stood on a line with its illustrious fellow the 
Washington Elm, and not far from the turn as we pass from 
the northerly side of the Common into Garden Street. It ob- 
structed the way, and the axe of the spoiler was laid at its root 
two years ago. 

Dr. Chauncy and Whitefield were not the best friends 
imaginable. They had mutually written at and preached 
against each other, and reciprocally soured naturally amiable 
tempers. The twain accidentally met. " How do you do, 
Brother Chauncy," says the itinerant laborer. "I am sorry to 
see you," replies Dr. C. "And so is the devil," retorted 
Whitefield. 

In the early part of his life this gentleman happened to be 
preaching in the open fields, when a drummer was present, 
who was determined to interrupt the services, and beat his 
drum in a violent manner in order to drown the preacher's 
voice. Mr. Whitefield spoke very loud, but the din of the 
instrument overpowered his voice. He therefore called out to 
the drummer in these words : — 

" Friend, you and I serve the two greatest masters existing, but 
in different callings. You may beat up volunteers for King George, 
I for the Lord Jesus Christ. In God's name, then, don't let us in- 
terrupt each other ; the world is wide enough for us both, and we 
may get recruits in abundance." 

This speech had such effect that the drummer went away in 
great good-humor, and left the preacher in full possession of 
the field. 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 267 




THE WASHINGTON ELM. 

Many a pilgrim daily wends his way to the spot where 

Washington placed himself at the head of the army. Above 

him towers 

" A goodly elm, of noble girth, 
That, thrice the human span — 
While on their variegated course 

The constant seasons ran — 
Through gale, and hail, and fiery holt, 
Had stood erect as man." 

He surveys its crippled branches, swathed in bandages ; marks 
the scars, where, after holding aloft for a century their out- 
stretched arms, limb after limb has fallen nerveless and de- 
cayed ; he pauses to read the inscription lodged at the base of 
the august fabric, and departs the place in meditative, mood, 
as he would leave a churchyard or an altar. 

Apart from its association with a great event, there is some- 
thing impressive about this elm. It is a king among trees ; a 



268 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

monarch, native to the soil, whose subjects, once scattered 
abroad upon the plain before us, have all vanished and left it 
alone in solitary state. The masses of foliage which hide in a 
measure its mutilated members, droop gracefully athwart the 
old highway, and still beckon the traveller, as of old, to halt 
and breathe awhile beneath their shade. It is not pleasant to 
view the decay of one of these Titans of primeval growth. It 
is too suggestive of the waning forces of man, and of that 

"Last scene of all, 
That ends this strange eventful history." 

As a shrine of the Eevolution, a temple not made with hands, 
we trust the old elm will long survive, a sacred memorial to 
generations yet to come. "We need such monitors in our public 
places to arrest our headlong race, and bid us calmly count the 
cost of the empire we possess. We shall not feel the worse for 
such introspection, nor could we have a more impressive coun- 
sellor. The memory of the great is with it and around it ; 
it is indeed on consecrated ground. 

W T hen the camp was here Washington caused a platform to 
be built among the branches of this tree, where he was accus- 
tomed to sit and survey with his glass the country round. On 
the granite tablet we read that 

Under this tree 

Washington 
First took command 

OF THE 

American Army, 
July 3», 1775. 

On the spot where the stone church is erected once stood an 
old gambrel-roofecl house, long the habitat of the Moore family. 
It was a dwelling of two stories, with a single chimney stand- 
ing in the midst, like a tower, to support the weaker fabric. 
In front were three of those shapely Lombard poplars, erect 
and prim, like trees on parade. A flower-garden railed it in 
from the road ; a porch in front, and another at the northerly 
end, gave ingress according as the condition of the visitor might 
warrant. 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 269 

The Moores occupied the house in the memorable year 75, 
and saw from the windows the cavalcade conducting Washing- 
ton to his quarters, — this being, as before stated, the high-road 
from Watertown to Cambridge Common. On the following 
day the family might have witnessed the ceremonial of formal 
assumption of command by the chief, on whom all eyes were 
fixed and in whom all hopes were centred. 

Deacon Moore — does he at length rest in peace 1 ? — was, 
while in the flesh, much given to patching and repairing his 
fences, outbuildings, and the wooden belongings of his domain 
in general. He bore the character of an upright, downright, 
conscientious deacon, walking in the odor of sanctity, and was 
regarded with childish awe by the urchins of the grammar- 
school whenever he chose to appear abroad. The deacon's house 
had its inevitable best room, into which heaven's sunshine was 
never allowed to penetrate, and which was rarely opened except 
to admit a stranger or hold a funeral service. There are yet 
such rooms in New England, with their stiff, black hair-cloth 
furniture, their ghostly pictures, and dank, mouldy odors. The 
carefully varnished mahogany has a smell of the undertaker ; 
every sense is oppressed, and the soul pleads for release from 
the funereal chamber. We repeat, there are still such "best 
rooms " in New England. 

Upon the decease of Deacon Moore it was discovered that 
some peculations had been made from the treasury of Dr. 
Holmes's church. These were laid at the door of the departed 
deacon. Now comes the startling revelation. Night after 
night the ghost of Deacon Moore revisited his earthly abode, 
and made night hideous with audible pounding, as if in the act 
of mending the fence, as was the deacon's wont in life. The 
affrighted neighbors, suddenly roused from slumber, fearfully 
drew their curtains aside, and peered forth into the night in 
quest of the spectre ; but still invisible the wraith pursued its 
midnight labors. 

The Jennisons succeeded the Moores, and at length the shade 
came no more. Not many years ago the old house was demol- 
ished. A vault was discovered underneath the kitchen, walled 



up with rough stone, and in this receptacle were two human 
skeletons. 

What tale of horror was here concealed, what deed of blood 
had caused the disappearance of two human beings from the 
face of the earth, was never revealed. For an unknown time 
they had remained sealed up in the manner related, and the 
later dwellers in the house were totally unconscious of their 
horrid tenants. A family servant had long slept immediately 
above these bones, and we marked, even after years had passed 
away, a strange glitter in his eye as he recalled his couch upon 
a tomb. 

The remains were of adult persons, one a female. What 
motive had consigned them to this mysterious hiding-place is 
left to conjecture. Was it domestic vengeance, too deadly for 
the public ear % We answer that two individuals could not 
have been suddenly taken out of the little community without 
question. Were they some unwary, tired wayfarers who had 
sought hospitable entertainment, and found graves instead % 

" But Echo never mocked the human tongue ; 
Some weighty crime that Heaven could not pardon, 
A secret curse on that old building hung, 
And its deserted garden." 

We have lived to have grave doubts whether, as the old 
adage says, " Murder will out." Inspect, if you have the 
stomach for it, our calendar of crime, and mark the array of 
names which belonged to those whose fate is unknown, and 
who are there set down like the missing of an army after the 
battle. The record is startling ; only at the final muster will 
the victims answer to the fatal list, and speak 

" Of graves, perchance, untimely scooped 
At midnight dark and dank." 

In Spain an ancient custom constrains each passer-by to cast 
a stone upon the heap raised on the scene of wayside murder, 
until at length a monument arises to warn against assassination. 
The peasant always pauses to repeat an ave to the souls of the 
slain. On this spot a church has reared its huge bulk, piling 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 271 

stone upon stone until its steeple, overtopping the Old Elm, 
stands a mightier monument to the manes of the unknown dead. 

The events in the life of Washington which have most im- 
pressed us are, the day when he unsheathed his sword beneath 
the Old Elm ; the morn of the battle of Trenton ; the address 
to his despairing, mutinous officers at Newburg; and the fare- 
well to his generals at ]S T ew York. As he was mounting his 
horse before Trenton, an officer presented him with a despatch. 
His remark, " What a time to bring me a letter ! " is the sequel 
of his thoughts, — all had been staked on the issue. When he 
rose from his bed early in the morning of the meeting at New- 
burg, he told Colonel Humphreys that anxiety had prevented 
him from sleeping one moment the preceding night. Unwill- 
ing to trust to his powers of extempore speaking, Washington 
reduced what he meant to say to writing, and commenced read- 
ing it without spectacles, which at that time he used only occa- 
sionally. He found, however, that he could not proceed with- 
out them. He stopped, took them out, and as he prepared to 
place them, exclaimed, " I have grown blind as well as gray in 
the service of my country." In these instances we see the 
patriot ; in the adieu to his lieutenants, we see the man. 

When Washington rode into town after the evacuation of 
Boston, he was accompanied by Mrs. Washington, who, in 
accordance with our old-time elegant manners, was styled 
" Lady " Washington. Upon reaching the Old South, the 
General wished to enter the building. Shubael Hewes, who at 
this time kept the keys, lived opposite, and the General there- 
fore drew up at his door. 

With his usual courtesy the General inquired after the health 
of the family, and was told that Mrs. H. had, the day before, 
been delivered of a fine child. At this Mrs. Washington in- 
sisted upon seeing the infant, born on an occasion so auspicious 
as the repossession of Boston by our troops, and it was accord- 
ingly brought out to the carriage and placed in her lap. 

The General, alighting, went into the meeting-house, and, 
ascending to the gallery, where he could fully observe the 
havoc made by Burgoyne's Light Horse, remarked to the per- 



272 historic fields and mansions of Middlesex. 

son who accompanied him that he was surprised that the Eng- 
lish, who so reverenced their own places of worship, should 
have shown such a vandal disposition here. 

Washington died at sixty-seven ; Knox, by an accident, at 
fifty-six ; Sullivan, at lifty-tive ; Gates, at seventy-eight ; Greene, 
at forty- four ; Heath, at seventy-seven ; Arnold, at sixty ; and 
Lee, at fifty-one. Putnam lived to be seventy-two, and Stark 
to be ninety- three, so that it was commonly said of him, that he 
was first in the field and last out of it. 

But other scenes await us, and though we feel that it is good 
for us to be here, we must reverently bid adieu to the Old Elm. It 
could perchance tell, were it, like the Dryads of old, loquacious, 
of the settlers' cabins, when it was a sapling, of the building 
of the old wooden seminary, and of the multitudes that have 
passed and repassed under its verdant arch. The smoke from 
a hundred rebel camp-fires drifted through its branches and 
wreathed around its royal dome in the day of maturity, while 
the drum-beat at the waking of the camp frighted the feathered 
songsters from their leafy retreats and silenced their matin 
lays. The huzzas that went up when our great leader bared 
the weapon he at length sheathed with all honor made every 
leaf tremulous with joy, and every brown and sturdy limb 
to wave their green banners in triumph on high. We salute 
thy patriarchal trunk, thy withered branches, and thy scanty 
tresses, venerable and yet lordly Elm ! Vale ! 

It is much more a matter of regret than surprise that wg 
have not in all New England a specimen of antique church 
architecture worthy of the name. Eigid economy dictated the 
barn-like structures which were the first Puritan houses of wor- 
ship. Quaint they certainly were, and not destitute of a cer- 
tain sombre picturesqueness, with their queer little towers and 
wonderful weather-vanes ; and even their blackening rafters of 
prodigious thickness, their long aisles, and carved balustrades, 
gave modest glimpses of a Eembrandt-like interior. But the 
beautiful forms of Jones and of Wren were left behind when 
the Mayflower sailed, and not a single type of Old England's 
pride of architecture stands on American soil. Simplicity in 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 273 

building, in manners, and in dress, as well as in religion, were 
the base on which our Puritan fathers builded. Had the 
means not been wanting, it may be doubted whether they 
would have been applied to the erection of splendid public edi- 
fices. The motives which enforced the adherence of the first 
settlers to the gaunt and unsesthetic structures of their time 
ceased, in a great measure, to exist a hundred years later, but 
no revival of taste appeared, and even the Episcopalians, with 
the memories of their glorious Old World temples, fell in 
with the prevailing lethargy which characterized the reign of 
ugliness. 

Christ Church stands confronting the Common much as it 
looked in colonial times. The subscription was originally 
formed in Boston, the subscribers being either resident or en- 
gaged in business there. The lot included part of the Common 
and part of the estate of James Eeed. The building was at 
first only sixty-five feet in' length by forty-five in width, exclu- 
sive of chancel and tower, but has been much enlarged, to 
accommodate an increasing parish, — a work which its original 
plan, and the material of which it is constructed, rendered 
easy. Peter Harrison, the architect of King's Chapel in Bos- 
ton, was also the designer of this edifice, and seems to have 
followed the same plan as for that now venerable structure. 
Service was first held here on October 15, 1761, the Rev. East 
Apthorp, whom Ave have already visited, officiating. Of Dr. 
Apthorp's father it is written that he studied to mind his 
own business, — a circumstance so rare as to wellnigh deserve 
canonization. 

In the alterations which have been called for the primitive 
appearance of the building has been', in a great measure, pre- 
served. The exterior is exceedingly simple, but harmonious, 
the tower, placed in the centre of the front, giving en- 
trances on three of its sides. The old bell-tower appeared 
rather smaller than its successor, and had a pointed roof, sur- 
mounted, as at present, by a gilded ball. The symbolic cross, 
which the Puritans hated with superstitious antipathy, did not 
appear on the pinnacle, out of deference perhaps to the feeling 
12* K 



274 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

which abominated a painted window, a Gothic arch, or chancel 
rail, as the concomitants of that Episcopacy against which the 
Cromwelliaii iconoclasts had waged unrelenting war in every 
cathedral from Chester to Canterbury. 

Upon the Declaration of Independence by the Colonies, all 
the taverns and shops were despoiled of their kingly emblems. 
A Boston letter of that date says : — 

" In consequence of Independence being declared here, all the 
signs which had crowns on them even the Mitre and Crown in the 
organ loft of the chappell were taken down, and Mr. Parker, (who 
is the Episcopal minister in town) left off praying for the king." 

The interior of Christ Church is quiet and tasteful, with 

" Storied windows richly dight, 
Casting a dim religions light." 

The Corinthian pillars of solid wood and the original choir are 
still remaining. And, very like, the stiff, straight-backed pews 
are a relic of ancient discomfort. The tablets bearing the Ten 
Commandments are mementos of Old Trinity in Boston when 
the wooden edifice was taken down, and have by this means 
survived their mother church, which the great fire of 1872 left 
a magnificent ruin. A silver flagon and cup, now in use to 
celebrate the Holy Communion, were presented by Governor 
Hutchinson in 1772. These vessels were the property of 
King's Chapel, Boston, which then received a new service in 
exchange for the old. They are inscribed as 

The Gift of 

K. William and Q Mary 

To y e Rev d Samll. Myles 

For y e nse of 

Theire Majesties' Chappell in N. England. 

MDCXCIV. 

Dr. Apthorp was succeeded by Eev. Winwood Serjeant, in 
whose time, the Eevolution having converted his wealthy and 
influential parishioners into refugees and driven him to seek an 
asylum elsewhere, the church became a barrack, in which Cap- 
tain Chester's company, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, was quar- 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 275 

tered at the time of Bunker Hill, and after them one of the 
companies of Southern riflemen. It appears also to have been 
some time occupied as a guard-house by our forces, rivalling in 
this respect the wanton usage of the Boston churches by the 
king's troops. But was not Westminster Abbey occupied by 
soldiery in 1643 ? General Washington, himself a churchman, 
attended a service here, held at the request of Mrs. Washing- 
ton, on Sunday, the last day of 1775. The religious rite was 
performed by Colonel William Palfrey, one of the General's 
aids. Mrs. Gates and Mrs. Custis were also present. There 
is a tradition that Washington continued to attend service 
here, but the General was probably too politic to have adopted 
a course so little in accord with the views of the army in gen- 
eral. He attended Dr. Appleton's church at times, and always 
showed himself possessed of true Christian liberality. On at 
least one occasion he partook of the Sacrament at the Presby- 
terian table. His generals were, in this respect, mindful of his 
example. At the baptism of a son of General Knox, in Boston, 
Lafayette, a Catholic, and Greene, a Quaker, stood godfathers to 
the child, Knox himself being a Presbyterian. 

From 1775 until 1790 Christ Church remained in the con- 
dition in which the war had involved it. During that time it 
had neither parish nor rector, but in the latter year it was re- 
opened, the Eev. Dr. Parker of Trinity, Boston, officiating for 
the occasion. A chime of thirteen bells was placed in the 
belfry in 1860. For many interesting particulars of the history 
of this church the reader is referred to the historical discourse 
of Rev. Nicholas Hoppin, the present rector. 

The remains of the unfortunate Eichard Brown, a lieutenant 
of the Convention troops, were deposited under this church. 
We have briefly referred to the shooting of this officer on 
Prospect Hill, as he was riding out with two women. It gave 
rise to a paper war between General Phillips and General 
Heath, in which, every advantage being on the side of the 
latter, he may be said to have come off victorious. An inquest 
pronounced the shooting justifiable, but the British officers, 
exasperated to the highest degree by this melancholy affair, 



i D HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



affected to believe themselves the objects of indisc rimina te 
slaughter. 

It was at the time the church was opened for the interment 
of Lieutenant Brown, according to the rite of the Church of 
England, that the damage to the interior took place. Ensign 
Anbury asserts that the Americans then seized the opportunity 
"to plunder, ransack, and deface everything they could lay 
their hands on. destroying the pulpit, reading-desk, and com- 
munion table, and, ascending the organ-loft, destroyed the bel- 
lows and broke all the pipes of a very handsome instrument." 
This organ was made by Snetzler. 

The burial-place which lies between the churches has re- 
ceived from the earliest 
times of our history the 
ashes of freeman andslave, 
squire and rustic. In its 
repose mingle the dust of 
college presidents, soldiers 
of forgotten wars, and 
ministers of wellnigh for- 
gotten doctrines. The ear- 
liest inscription is in 1653, 
but the interments antecedent to this date were made, in many 
cases doubtless, without any graven tablet or other stone than 
some heavy mass selected at hazard, to protect the remains from 
beasts of prey. In still other instances the lines traced on the 
stones have been effaced by natural causes, and even the rude 
monuments themselves have disappeared beneath the mould. 

" The slum herer s mound grows fresh and green, 
Then slowly disappears ; 
The mosses creep, the gray stones lean, 
Earth hides his elate and years " 

Among the earlier tenants of God's Acre, as Longfellow has 
reverently distinguished it, are Andrew Belcher, the innkeeper, 
Stephen Day, the printer, and Samuel Green, his successor, 
Elijah Corlet, master of the " faire Grammar Schoole," Dunster, 
first President of the College, and Thomas Shepard, minister- 




CAMBEIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 277 

of the church in Cambridge, who succeeded Hooker when. he 
departed to plant the Colony of Connecticut. In their various 
callings, these were the forefathers of the hamlet ; Old Cam- 
bridge is really concentrated within this narrow space. 

The consideration which attached to the position of governor 
of the College is indicated by the long, pompous Latin inscrip- 
tions, to be deciphered only by the scholar. Classic lore, as 
dead to the world in general as is the subject of its eulogium, 
followed them to their tombs, — 

" But for mine own part it was all Greek to me," — 

and is there stretched out at full length in many a line of 
sounding import. Dunster, Chauncy, Leverett, Wads worth, 
Holyoke, Willard, and Webber lie here awaiting the great 
Commencement, where Freshman may at once attain the high- 
est degree, and where College parchment availeth nothing. 

The disappearance of many of the leaden family-escutcheons 
has already been accounted for by their conversion into deadly 
missiles. Necessity, which knows no law, led to these acts of 
sacrilege, and yet we should as soon think of fashioning the 
bones of the dead themselves into weapons as rob their tablets 
of their blazonry. The cavities in which were placed the 
heraldic emblems are now so many little basins to* catch the 
dews of heaven, — our precious and only Holy Water. 

The Vassall tomb, a horizontal sandstone slab resting on five 
upright columns, is one of the most conspicuous objects in the 
cemetery. On the face of the slab are sculptured the chalice 
and sun, which may have been borne upon the banner of some 
gallant French crusader ; for the Vassalls were lords and barons 
in ancient Guienne. Hospitality and unsullied reputation are 
in the heraldic conjunction reduced to knightly or kingly sub- 
jection in the name. Whether amid the sands of Holy Land, 
the soil of sunny France, or the clay of Cambridge churchyard, 
the slumberers calmly await the summons of the great King-of- 
Arms. ' 

Near Christ Church is a handsome monument of Scotch gran- 
ite, erected by the city in 1870 to the memory of John Hicks, 



278 HISTOHIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

William Marcy, and Moses Richardson, buried here, and of. 
Jabez Wynian and Jason Russell, of Menotomy, who fell on 
the day of Lexington battle. 

Here is the form of an invitation to a funeral of the olden 
time. Eev. Mr. Nowell died in London in 1688. 

" ffor the Reuerend Mr. Mather. These — 

Reuerend S r , — You are desired to accompany the Corps of M? 
Samuell Nowell, minister of the Gospell, of Eminent Note in New 
England, deceased, from Mr Quicks meating place in Bartholemew 
Close, on Thursday next at two of the clock in the afternoon p r cisely, 
to the new burying place by .the Artillery ground." 

An epitaph has been described as giving a good character to 
persons on their going to a new place, who sometimes enjoyed 
a very bad character in the place they had just left. There is 
something touching about an unknown grave. Even the igno- 
rant crave some memento when they are gone, and the dread 
of being wholly forgotten on earth is depicted in Gray's incom- 
parable lines : — 

" Yet even these bones from insult to protect, 
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, 
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked, 
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh." 

Occasionally we see a stone splintered or wantonly defaced. 
Sometimes an old heraldic device is obliterated by a modern 
chisel, to give place to some new-comer who has thus, through 
the agency of a soulless grave-digger, possessed himself of the 
last heritage of the former proprietor. 

" I think I see them at their work those sapient trouble tombs." 

While we are beautifying our newer cemeteries, and making 
them to "blossom as the rose," our ancient burial-places remain 
neglected. Cambridge churchyard was long a common thor- 
oughfare and playground, from which the stranger augured but 
ill of our reverence for the ashes of our ancestors. The path 
across the ground is still much frequented, and we marked the 
absence of all attempt at beautifying the spot. There are 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 279 

neither shady walks nor blooming shrubs in a place so public 
as to meet the eye of every wayfarer. The older stones, half 
hidden in the tangled grass, threaten total disappearance at no 
distant day. Pray Heaven all that is left of ancient Newtown 
does not return to a state of nature. 

Governor Belcher, one of Harvard's best friends, and the 
patron of Princeton College, died at his government in New 
Jersey in 1757. He was much attached to Cambridge, his 
Alma Mater, and the friends of his youth. In his will he de- 
sired to be buried in the midst of those he had loved, and 
accordingly his remains were deposited in this burying-ground 
in a tomb constructed a short time previous. It appears that 
the governor and his bosom friend Judge Eemington had ex- 
pressed the desire to be buried in one grave, so that when Bel- 
cher was laid in the tomb the body of his friend, who had 
preceded him, was disinterred and laid by his side. The mon- 
ument which the governor had directed to be raised over his 
resting-place was never erected, and in time the memory of the 
place of his interment itself passed away with the generation to 
which he belonged. The tomb became the family vault of the 
Jennisons. On the decease of Dr. Jennison, it was found to 
be completely filled with tenants. The old sexton, Brackett, 
upon being questioned, recollected to have seen at the bottom 
of the vault the fragments of an old-fashioned coffin, covered 
with velvet and studded with gilt nails. This was believed to 
be that of Governor Belcher, whose granddaughter was the wife 
of Dr. Jennison. The tomb of Belcher and that of Judge 
Trowbridge (since known as the Dana tomb) are near the gate- 
way. In the latter were placed the remains of Washington 
Allston. 

There have been funerals in New England with some attempt 
at feudal pomp. When Governor Leverett died, in 1679, the 
pageant was rendered as imposing as possible. Though the 
governor had carefully concealed the fact of his knighthood by 
Charles II. during his lifetime, the customs of knightly burial 
were brought into requisition at his interment in Boston. 
There were bearers, carrying each a banner roll, at the four 



280 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

corners of the hearse. After these came the principal gentle- 
men of the town with the armor of the deceased, the first bear- 
ing the helmet, the last the spur. The procession closed with 
the led horse of the governor followed by bamiers. 

The home of Judge Trowbridge was on the ground on which 
the First Church now stands. Trowbridge, who had been 
attorney-general, and who was, at the breaking out of the Revo- 
lution, judge of the Supreme Court, resigned soon after the 
battle of Lexington, aud retired to Byfield, where he enjoyed 
for a time the companionship of his pupil, Theophilus Parsons, 
whose character he no doubt impressed with his own stamp. 
Judge Trowbridge presided at the trial of Captain Preston with 
a fairness and ability that commanded respect. He was well in 
years when the Revolution burst forth in full vigor, and al- 
though offered a safe conduct, declined to leave the country, 
saying, "I have nothing to fear from my countrymen." He 
returned to Cambridge, and died here in 1793. 

A little time after the battle of Lexington Judge Trowbridge 
stated to Rev. John Eliot that, " it was a most unhappy thing 
that Hutchinson was ever chief justice of our court. What 
Otis said, 'that he would set the province in flames, if he 
perished by the fire,' has come to pass." At the last court 
held under the charter, Peter Oliver was chief justice, and Ed- 
mund Trowbridge, Poster Hutchinson, William Cushing, and 
William Brown were the judges. Of these, Cushing was the 
only one who afterwards appeared on the bench. 

" The scene is changed ! No green arcade, 
No trees all ranged arow." 

The old Brattle house, on the street of that name, is the first 
you meet with after passing the huge wooden hive, formerly a 
hotel under the familiar designation of the Brattle House, but 
now dedicated to the art preservative of all arts. The buildings 
of the University Press occupy a part of the Brattle estate, 
which was once the most noted in Cambridge for the elegance 
of its grounds and the walk laid out by the proprietor, known 
in its day as Brattle's Mall. Miss Ruth Stiles, afterwards the 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 



281 




mother of Dr. Gannett of Boston, penned some beautiful lines 
to this promenade : — 

" Say, noble artist, by what power inspired 
Thy skilful hands such varied scenes compose ? 
At whose command the sluggish soil retir'd, 
And from the marsh this beauteous mall arose ? " 

The walk, which once conducted to the river's side, was the 
favorite promenade for the nymphs and swains of Old Cam- 
bridge, as on a moonlit eve they wandered forth 
to whisper their vows, chant a love-ditty under 
the shadows of the listening trees, or idly cast 
a pebble into the current of the shimmering 
stream. Besides the mall, was a marble grotto 
in which gurgled forth a spring, where love- 
draughts of singular potency were quaffed, en- 
chaining, so 't was said, the wayward fancies of 
the coquette, or giving heart of grace to bashful 
wooer. Beader, the spring has coyly with- brattle. 
drawn beneath the turf, though its refreshing pool is indicated 
by a ruined arch nigh the wall of the enclosure ; the mall, too, 
is gone, but still, perchance, 

" Light-footed fairies guard the verdant side 
And watch the turf by Cynthia's lucid beam." 

The elder Thomas Brattle was an eminent merchant of Bos- 
ton, and a principal founder of Brattle Street Church. From 
him, also, that street took its name. He was the brother of 
William, the respected minister of Cambridge. William Brattle, 
the tory brigadier, went into exile in the royalist hegira, de- 
serting his house and all his worldly possessions. The soldiery 
were not long in scenting out and making spoil of the good 
liquors contained in the fugitive's cellars, until this house, with • 
others, was placed under guard, and the effects of every sort 
taken in charge for the use of the Colonial forces. 

Thomas Brattle, the son of the brigadier, was the author of 
the improvements which made his grounds the most celebrated 
in New England. He left the country in 1775 for England, 



282 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

but returned before the close of the war, and had the good for- 
tune to obtain the removal of his political disabilities. His 
character was amiable, and his pursuits prompted by an en- 
lightened benevolence and hospitality. One of the last acts of 
his life was to erect a bath at what was called Brick Wharf, 
for the benefit of the students of the University, many of whom 
had lost their lives while bathing in the river. Brattle was an 
enthusiastic lover of horticulture, and devoted much of his time 
to the embellishment of his grounds. 

General Mifflin occupied the Brattle mansion while acting as 
quartermaster-general to our forces. Mifflin and Dr. Jonathan 
Potts, the distinguished army-surgeon of the Eevolution, married 
sisters. The former was small in stature, very active and alert, 

— qualities which he displayed in the Lechmere's Point affair, 

— but withal somewhat bustling, and fond of telling the sol- 
diers he would get them into a scrape. His manners were 
popular, and he appeared every inch a soldier when on duty. 
Despite the cloud which gathered about Mifflin's connection 
with the conspiracy to depose "Washington, he nobly exerted 
himself to reinforce the wreck of the grand army at the close 
of the campaign of 1776. 

Mrs. John Adams paid a visit to Major Mifflin's in Decem- 
ber, 1775, to meet Mrs. Morgan, the wife of Dr. Church's suc- 
cessor as director-general of the hospital. In the company 
were Generals Gates and Lee. Tea was drank without restraint. 

" General Lee," says Mrs. Adams, " was very urgent for me to 
tarry in town and dine with him and the ladies present at Hobgob- 
lin Hall, but I excused myself. The General was determined that 
I should not only be acquainted with him, but with his companions 
too, and therefore placed a chair before me, into which he ordered 
Mr. Spada to mount and present his paw to me for better acquaint- 
ance. I could not do otherwise than accept it. ' That, Madam/ 
says he, 'is the dog which Mr. has made famous.' " 

Mrs. Adams further says : — 

"You hear nothing from the ladies but about Major Mifflin's easy 
address, politeness, complaisance, etc. 'T is well he has so agreeable 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 283 

a lady at Philadelphia. They know nothing about forts, intrench- 
ments, etc., when they return ; or if they do, they are all forgotten 
and swallowed up in his accomplishments." 

It is evident that the Major was a gallant cavalier, and 
would have been called in our day a first-rate ladies' man. 
Margaret Fuller was at one time a resident of this house, now 
the property of Samuel Batchelder, Esq. 

To understand what was this old Colonial highway in 
which we are now sauntering, contract its breadth, expanded 
at the cost of the contiguous estates ; rear again the magnifi- 
cent trees sacrificed to the improvement, save here and there a 
noble specimen spared at the earnest intercession of the near 
proprietors, or where protected, like the " spreading chestnut- 
tree," by the poet's art, — would that he might dedicate his 
muse to every one of these mighty forest guardians ! — some 
relics of the dispersed sylvan host yet clings to the soil ; carry 
the boundaries of Thomas Brattle to those of the Vassalls ; 
obliterate the modern villas, with their neutral tints and 
chateau roofs ; restore the orchards, the garden glacis, the fra- 
grant lindens, and cool groves ; and you have an inkling of the 
state of the magnificos of " forty-five " and of the most impor- 
tant artery of old Massachusetts Bay. 

Passing underneath the horse-chestnut, by whose stem Long- 
fellow has located the village smithy, we ought to pause a 
moment before the long-time dwelling of Judge Story, — a 
plain, three-story brick house, with small, square upper win- 
dows, and veranda along its eastern front. This house was 
built about 1800, and in it Story died, and from it he was 
buried. 

The old Judge was wont, they say, when weighty matters 
occupied him, to take his hat into his study, where he remained 
secure from intrusion ; while the servant, not seeing his head- 
covering in its accustomed place in the hall, would say to 
comers of every degree that he was not at home. 

" In the summer afternoons he left his library towards twilight, 
and might always be seen by the passer-by sitting with his family 



284 historic fields and mansions of Middlesex. 

under the portico, talking, or reading some light pamphlet or news- 
paper ; oftener surrounded by friends, and making the air ring with 
his gay laugh. This, with the interval occupied by tea, would last 
until nine o'clock. Generally, also, the summer afternoon was 
varied, three or four times a week in fine weather, by a drive with 
my mother of about an hour through the surrounding country in an 
open chaise. At about ten or half past ten he retired for the night, 
never varying a half-hour from this time." * 

William W. Story, the son of Judge Story, passed his college 
life in this house, was married in it, and here also made his 
first essays in art. The beautiful statue of the jurist in the 
chapel of Mount Auburn is the work of his son's hands. Judge 
Story's widow remained but a little time in the house after her 
husband's decease. Edward Tuckerman, professor of botany at 
Amherst, lived here some time, a bachelor ; and Judge William 
Kent, son of the celebrated chancellor, resided here while pro- 
fessor in the Law School. In his time gayety prevailed in the 
old halls, often filled with the elite of the town, and sometimes 
distinguished by the presence of the eminent commentator him- 
self. In this house, could w T e but .make its walls voluble, we 
might write the annals of bench and bar. It stands amid the 
frailer structures stanch as the Constitution, while its old-time, 
learned inhabitant has long since obeyed the summons of the 
Supreme Court of last resort, where there is no more conflict 
of laws. 

Ash Street is the name now given to the old highway lead- 
ing to the river's side, where formerly existed an eminence 
known as Windmill Hill, later the site of Brattle's bathing- 
house, from which the way was known as Bath Lane. The 
mill is mentioned as standing in 1719, and, in all probability, 
occupied the same ground as the earlier mill of the first plant- 
ers, removed in 1632 to Boston, "because it would not grind 
but with a westerly wind." The firm ground extends here 
quite to the river, so that boats freighted with corn could 
unload at the mill. Down this lane of yore trudged many a 
weary rustic with his grist for the mill. 

* Judge Story's Memoir, by his son. 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 



285 




The house, now the residence of Samuel Batchelder, Esq., 
was built about 1700, and may claim the respect due to a hale, 
hearty old age. It was originally of rough-cast, filled in with 
brick. The east front, unfortunately injured by fire, was re- 
stored to its ancient aspect, except that the dormer windows 
of that part have not been replaced. The brown old mansion 
incloses three sides of a square, and 
offers a much more picturesque view 
from the gardens than from the 
street. On the west is the court- 
yard and carriage entrance, paved 
with beach pebbles, while the east 
front opens upon the spacious 
grounds, now somewhat shrunken 
on the side of the highway by its 
enlargement. During this improve- 
ment the low brick wall on Brattle 
Street, as it now appears on Ash 
Street, was taken down, and replaced 

by one more elegant. The recessed area at the back, has a cool, 
monastic look, with shade and climbing vines, — a place for 

meditative fancies. The garden 
is thickly studded with trees, 
shrubbery, and flowers, as was 
the dreary waste once Thomas 
Brattle's, during the time of that 
right worthy horticulturist. At 
the extremity of Mr. Batchelder's 
garden remains of what were be- 
lieved to have belonged to the 
early fortifications were discovered. 
The situation coincides with the 
location as fixed by Eev. Dr. 
Holmes. 

The estate came, in 1717, into 
the possession of Jonathan Belcher 
while he was yet a merchant and had not donned the cares of 




GOVERNOR BELCHER. 



286 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

office. He was one of the most elegant gentlemen of his time 
in manners and appearance, — a fact for which his portrait 
will vouch. While governor he once made a state entry into 
Hampton Falls, where the Assemblies of Massachusetts Bay 
and New Hampshire were in session on the vexatious question 
of the dividing line between the governments. We append 
a contemporary pasquinade on the event : — 

" Dear Paddy, you ne'er did behold such a sight 
As yesterday morning was seen before night. 
You in all your born days saw, nor I did n't neither, 
So many fine horses and men ride together. 
At the head the lower house trotted two in a row, 
Then all the higher house pranc'd after the low ; 
Then the Governor's coach gallop'd on like the wind, 
And the last that came foremost were troopers behind ; 
But I fear it means no good to your neck nor mine, 
For they say 't is to fix a right place for the line." 

The mansion afterwards became the property of Colonel John 
Vassal!, the elder, whose sculptured tombstone we have seen in 
the old churchyard. This gentleman conveys the estate (of 
seven acres) to his brother, Major Henry, an officer in the 
militia, who died in this house in 1769. The wife of Major 
Vassall, nee Penelope Eoyall, left her home, at the breaking out 
of hostilities, in such haste, it is said, that she carried along 
with her a young companion, whom she had not time to re- 
store to her friends. Such of her property as was serviceable 
to the Colony forces was given in charge of Colonel Stark, 
while the rest was allowed to pass into Boston. The barns and 
outbuildings were used for the storage of the Colony forage, cut 
with whig scythes in tory pastures. 

It is every way likely that the Widow Vassall's house at once 
became the American hospital, as Thacher tells us it was near 
headquarters, and no other house was so near as this. There 
is little doubt that it was the residence, as it certainly was the 
prison, of that inexplicable character, Dr. Benjamin Church, 
whose defection was the first that the cause of America had 
experienced. Suspicion fell upon Church before the middle of 
September. He was summoned to headquarters on the evening 



CAMBRIDGE COMMON AND LANDMARKS. 287 

of September 13, before a council of the generals, where he 
probably learned, for the first time, that he was the object of 
distrust. When questioned by Washington he appeared utterly 
confounded, and made no attempt to vindicate himself. 

A treasonable letter, written in cipher, which he was attempt- 
ing to send to his brother in Boston, by the hands of his mis- 
tress, was intercepted, and disclosed Church's perfidy. The 
letter itself, when deciphered, did not contain any intelligence 
of importance, but the discovery that one until then so high in 
the esteem of his countrymen was engaged in a clandestine cor- 
respondence with the enemy was deemed sufficient evidence 
of guilt. He was arrested and confined in a chamber looking 
upon Brattle Street. The middle window in the second story 
will indicate the apartment of his detention, in which he em- 
ployed some of his leisure in cutting on the door of a closet, 

"B Church jr" 
There the marks now remain, their significance awaiting a 
recent interpretation by Mrs. James, to whom they were long 
familiar, without suspicion of their origin. The chamber has 
two windows in the north front, and two overlooking the area 
on the south. 

The doctor was called before a council of war, consisting of 
all the major-generals and brigadiers of the army, besides the 
adjutant-general, General Washington presiding. This tribunal 
decided his acts to have been criminal, but remanded him for 
the decision of the General Court, of which he was a member. 
He was taken in a chaise, escorted by General Gates and a 
guard of twenty men, to the music of a fife and drum, to 
Watertown meoting-house, where the court sat. It would be 
difficult to produce a more remarkable instance of special plead- 
ing than Church's defence. The galleries were thronged with 
people of all ranks. The bar was placed in the middle of the 
broad aisle, and the Doctor arraigned. He was adjudged guilty 
and expelled. His subsequent confinement by order of the 
Continental Congress, his permission to depart the country, 
and his mysterious fate are matters of history. 

A letter from Dr. Church's brother, to which the treasonable 



288 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

document was a reply, contains the following among other re- 
markable passages, — it refers to Bunker Hill : — 

" What says the psalm-singer and Johnny Dupe to fighting 
British troops now '? They are at Philadelphia, I suppose plotting 
more mischief, where I hear your High Mightiness has been Ambas- 
sador extraordinary : take care of your nob, Mr. Doctor ; remember 
your old friend, the orator ; * he will preach no more sedition." 

What Paul Eevere says, together with other corroborative 
evidence, leaves but little doubt that Dr. Church was in the 
pay of General Gage. Revere's account is, in part, as fol- 
lows : — 

" The same day I met Dr. Warren. He was president of the 
Committee of Safety. He engaged me as a messenger to do the out 
of doors business for that committee ; which gave me an opportunity 
of being frequently with them. The Friday evening after, about 
sunset, I was sitting with some, or near all that committee in their 
room, which was at Mr. Hastings's house in Cambridge. Dr. 
Church all at once started up. ' Dr. Warren,' said he, ' I am deter- 
mined to go into Boston to-morrow.' (It set them all a staring.) 
Dr. Warren replied, ' Are you serious, Dr. Church 1 They will hang 
you if they catch you in Boston.' He replied, ' I am serious, and 
am determined to go at all adventures.' After a considerable con- 
versation Dr. Warren said, ' If you are determined, let us make 
some business for you.' They agreed that he should go to get medi- 
cine for their and our wounded officers." 

* Warren. 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 289 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 

" Somewhat back from the village street 
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat." 

EXCEPT Mount Vernon, the shrine at which every Amer- 
ican means some day to render homage, the house now 
the residence of Mr. Longfellow is probably the best known of 
any in our country. It is not to be wondered at that the foot- 
steps of many pilgrims stray within the pleasant enclosure. 
The house has often been described, and is an object familiar 
to thousands who have visited it, and who would regret its 
disappearance as a public misfortune. 

A score of years gone by the writer accompanied a gentleman 
from a distant State, then accredited to a foreign court, to view 
the historic localities of Old Cambridge. " Ah ! " said the 
visitor, as we paused before this mansion, " there is no need, to 
account for the poet's inspiration." Be it our task, then, after 
repeating something of its history, to stand at the entrance door, 
and, like Seneschal of old, announce in succession those who 
claim our service in the name of master of the historic edifice. 

Standing at some distance back from the street, the mansion 
is in the style of an English country house of a hundred and 
fifty years ago. It is built of wood without, walled up with 
brick within, giving strength to the building and comfort to its 
inhabitants. 

The approach is by a walk rising over two slight terraces by 
successive flights of sandstone steps. The first of these terraces 
is bordered by a neat wooden balustrade. Four pilasters with 
Corinthian capitals ornament the front of the mansion ; one 
standing at each side of the entrance, while others relieve the 
corners. A pediment raised above the line of the cornice rests 
13 s 



290 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

upon the central pilasters, and gives character to the design. 
A dormer window jutting out on either side of the pediment, 
a pair of substantial chimneys, and a balustrade at the summit 
of the roof complete the external aspects of the house. The 
verandas seen on either side are the taste of a modern pro- 
prietor. Yellow and white, the poet's colors, are the outward 
dress which has been applied to this house since a time when 
the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. 

One day we stood on the broad stone slab before this door. 
We had time to mark the huge brass knocker which seemed to 
court a giant's grasp, but, Vulcan ! what a lock was its fellow 
on the other side. The key might have been forged at the 
smithy of a Cyclop, and would have done no discredit to the 
girdle of the keeper of the Bastile or of the White Tower. 

It was probably the poet's mental stature that made us ex- 
pect to see a taller man. His handsome white hair, worn long ; 
his beard, which threescore and six completed years have 
blanched, gave him a venerable appearance by no means con- 
sistent with his mental and bodily activity. A warm, even 
ruddy complexion ; an eye bright and expressive ; a genial 
smile, which at once allays any well-founded doubts the in- 
truder might entertain of his reception, make Mr. Longfellow's 
a countenance to be remembered. Looking into that face, we 
felt at no loss \o account for the beauty, purity, and high moral 
tone which pervade the poet's productions. 

An apparent aroma of fragrant tobacco indicated that, like 
Tennyson, our host found solace in the weed. The large front 
room, one of four into which the first floor is divided, and 
which opens at your right hand as you enter the hall, is re- 
served by the poet for his study, and here, among his books, 
antique busts, and other literary paraphernalia, the magician 
weaves his spell. 

The windows look upon the lawn and walk by which you 
approach the house. The grounds are embellished with shrub- 
bery and dominated by some fine old elms ; but the eye is soon 
engaged with, and lingers on, the broad expanse of meadow 
through which the river winds unseen, and whose distant 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 291 

margin is fringed with the steeples and house-tops of Brighton. 
Beyond are the rounded hills and pleasant dales of Brookline, 
and from the upper windows you may see, on a clear day, the 
blue masses of Milton Hills. Thus it looked to the early pro- 
prietor and to Washington, and thus the present occupant, by 
the recovery of a large portion of the original acres, perpetuates 
at once dwelling and landscape. 

Lighting a taper, our host first led the way to the cellars, 
with timely caution to take heed of the solid timbers overhead, 
as we descended the stairs. He made us remark the thickness 
of these beams and of the outer walls of the building proper. 
In extent and loftiness these cellars were not unworthy some 
old convent in which many a butt of good Rhenish — unless 
we do them foul wrong — has consoled the jolly friars for days 
of mortification in downright bacchanalian wassail. We passed 
beneath arches where light was never meant to enter, for fear 
of offending the deep, rich glow of the port, or the pale lustre 
of the Madeira, — recesses out of which we almost expected to 
see the phantom of the Colonial proprietor appear and challenge 
our footsteps. 

The house is spacious and elegant throughout. From the 
hall of entrance the staircase winds to the upper floor, giving 
an idea of loftiness such as you experience in looking up at the 
vault of a church. The principles of ventilation were respected 
by the builder in a manner which savors strongly of a West- 
Indian life. Not a sign of weakness or decay is apparent in 
the woodwork j wainscots, panels, capitals, and cornices are 
in excellent taste and skilfully executed. 

The old proprietor's farm, for such it was, at first consisted 
of a hundred and fifty acres or more. The Sewall mansion, 
now that of John Brewster, Esq., was then the nearest on that 
side, and at the back the grounds embraced the site of the Ob- 
servatory, where formerly stood a summer-house. From this 
hill the waters of a spring were conducted to the house by an 
aqueduct, still visible where it entered the foundation-wall. 
The greenhouses were formerly on the spot where the new dor- 
mitory is now being erected ; the capacious barn is still stand- 



292 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

ing on the west side of the house. Nothing seems to have 
been wanting to render the estate complete in all its appoint- 
ments. 

The house was probably erected in 1759 by Colonel John 
Vassall, the same at whose tomb we have paid a passing visit. 
His family was a distinguished one, both in Old and New 
England. In King's Chapel, Boston, the visitor may see a 
beautiful mural monument, commemorative of the virtues, loy- 
alty, and sufferings of Samuel Vassall, a member, and one of 
the Assistants, of the Massachusetts Company. The escutcheon 
displays the same emblems as the horizontal slab in Cambridge 
churchyard. The crest is a ship with the sails furled, adopted, 
no doubt, to honor the services of that brave John Vassall who 
fought with Howard, Drake, and Hawkins, against the armada 
of Philip II. The Vassalls were from Cambridge in Old Eng- 
land. 

There could be no fitter name for so stanch a loyalist as Col- 
onel John Vassall. It is said he would not use on his arms the ' 
family device, " Scepe pro rege, semper pro republican He 
took an active part against the whigs in the struggles prelimi- 
nary to active hostilities, and early in 1775 became a fugitive 
under the protection of the royal standard. In Boston he occu- 
pied the time-honored mansion of the Eaneuils, where he, no 
doubt, often saw his fellow-tories assembled around his board. 
His Cambridge and Boston estates were both confiscated, and 
not the least curious of the freaks which fortune played in those 
troublous times was the occupation of the first-named house by 
"Washington, while that of William Vassall, in Boston, after- 
wards the residence of Gardiner Greene, was for some time the 
lodgings of Sir William Howe, and also of Earl Percy. Col- 
onel Vassall retired to England, where he died in 1797, after 
eating a hearty dinner. 

Having witnessed the hurried exit of the first proprietor, it 
becomes our duty to throw wide the portal and admit a bat- 
talion of Colonel John Glover's amphibious Marblehead regi- 
ment. As the royalist went out the republicans came in, and 
the halls of the haughty tory resounded with merriment or 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. Z\)o 

echoed to the tread of many feet. Colonel John the first gave 
place to Colonel John the second. Truth compels us to add 
that the man of Marblehead has left a more enduring record 
than the marble of the Vassal! 

The little colonel, though small in stature, was as brave as 
Caesar. His patriotism was full proof. Besides his service at 
the siege of Boston, his regiment brought off the army in safety 
after the disastrous affair of Long Island, where they showed 
that they could handle ashen as well as steel blades. He was 
a great favorite with Lee, with whom he served two campaigns. 
It was Glover who, after the ever-memorable passage of the 
Delaware, made the discovery that the thickly falling sleet had 
rendered the fire-arms useless. Meaning glances were exchanged 
among the little group who heard the ill-omened announce- 
ment. " What is to be done ? " exclaimed Sullivan. " Nothing 
is left you but to push on and charge," replied St. Clair. Sul- 
livan, still doubtful, sent Colonel William Smith, one of his 
aids, to inform General Washington of the state of his troops, 
and that he could depend upon nothing but the bayonet. 
General Washington replied to Colonel Smith in a voice of 
thunder, " Go back, sir, immediately, and tell General Sullivan 
to go on 1 " Colonel Smith said he never saw a face so awfully 
sublime as Washington's when he spoke these words. 

Knox, whose superhuman efforts on that night to get his ar- 
tillery across the Delaware entitle him to lasting praise, pays 
this tribute to the brave men of Glover's command : — 

" I could wish that they [he was speaking to the Massachusetts 
Legislature] had stood on the banks of the Delaware River in 1776, 
on that bitter night when the commander-in-chief had drawn up his 
little army to cross it, and had seen the powerful current bearing 
onward the floating masses of ice which threatened destruction to 
whosoever should venture upon its bosom. I wish that, when this 
occurrence threatened to defeat the enterprise, they could have 
heard that distinguished warrior demand, ' Who will lead us on ? ' 
and seen the men of Marblehead, and Marblehead alone, stand for- 
ward to lead the army along its perilous path to unfading glories 
and honors in the achievements of Trenton." 



294 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Glover was himself a fisherman and wore a short round- 
jacket like his men. Two of his captains, John Selman and 
Nicholson Broughton, engaged in the first naval expedition 
of the Ee volution. A third, William Kaymond Lee, finally 
became Glover's successor in the command of the regiment. 
Glover had been out with the Marblehead militia when Leslie 
attempted to force his way into Salem. The regiment reported 
to General Ward on the 22d of June, 1775. 

Graydon, whose illiberal and sweeping abuse of the New 
England troops renders his praise the more remarkable, makes 
an exception in favor of Glover's regiment, which he saw in 
New York in 1776. He says : — 

" The only exception I recollect to have seen to these miserably 
constituted bands from New England was the regiment of Glover 
from Marblehead. There was an appearance of discipline in this 
corps ; the officers seemed to have mixed with the world, and to un- 
derstand what belonged to their station. But even in this regiment 
there were a number of negroes, which, to persons unaccustomed to 
such associations, had a disagreeable, degrading effect." 

Glover served in the Northern army in the campaign against 
Burgoyne. He commanded the troops drawn up to receive the 
surrender, and, with Whipple, escorted the forces of the Con- 
vention to Cambridge. An excellent disciplinarian, his regi- 
ment was one of the best in the army. But the Provincial 
Congress has ordered the house cleared for a more illustrious 
tenant, and our sturdy men of Essex must seek another loca- 
tion. On the 7th of July they received orders to encamp. In 
February, 1776, the regimental headquarters were at Brown's 
tavern, while the regiment itself lay encamped in an enclosed 
pasture to the north of the Colleges. 

Erom the records of the Provincial Congress we learn that 
Joseph Smith was the custodian of the Vassall farm, which fur- 
nished considerable supplies of forage for our army. It was at 
the time when the haymakers were busy in the royalist's mead- 
ows that Washington, entering Cambridge with his retinue, first 
had his attention fixed by the mansion which for more than 
eight months became his residence. 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 



295 



Once, ah ! once, within these walls, 
One whom memory oft recalls, 
The father of his country dwelt ; 
And yonder meadows broad and damp, 
The fires of the besieging camp 
Encircled with a burning belt." 



Washington probably took possession of this house before 
the middle of July, as he himself records, under date of July 
15, that he paid for cleansing the premises assigned him, which 
had been occupied by the Marblehead regiment. The Com- 
mittee of Safety had ordered it vacated early in May for their 
own use, hut there 
is no evidence 
that they ever sat 
there. 

Whatever re- 
lates to the per- 
sonality of Wash- 
ington will re- 
main a matter 
of interest to the 
latest times. The 
pencils of the 
Peales, of Trum- 
bull, Stuart, of 
Wertmiiller, and 
others have de- 
picted him in ear- 
ly manhood, in 
mature age, and 
the decline of life; 
while the chisel of 
a Canova, a Houdon, and a Chantrey have familiarized Ameri- 
cans with his commanding figure and noble cast of features : — 




BALLS WAfHINl-TON STATUE. 



A combination and a form indeed, 
Where every god did seem to set his seal 
To give the world assurance of a man." 



296 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

One of Rochambeaii's generals has left by far the most satis- 
factory account of Washington's outward man : — 

" His- stature is noble and lofty, he is well made and exactly 
proportioned ; bis physiognomy mild and agreeable, but such as to 
render it impossible to speak particularly of any of his features, so 
that in quitting him you have only the recollection of a fine face. 
He has neither a grave nor a familiar air, his brow is sometimes 
marked with thought, but never with inquietude ; in inspiring re- 
spect he inspires confidence, and his smile is always the smile of 
benevolence." 

Says another : — 

" With a person six feet two inches in stature, expanded, muscular, 
of elegant proportions and unusually graceful in all its movements, 
— his head moulded somewhat on the model of the ' Grecian an- 
tique ; features sufficiently prominent for strength or comeliness, — 
a Roman nose and large blue eyes deeply thoughtful rather than 
lively, — with these attributes the appearance of Washington was 
striking and august. Of a fine complexion, he was accounted when 
young one of the handsomest of men." 

That Washington wore his famous blue and buff uniform on 
his arrival at Cambridge there can be as little doubt as that he 
appeared in his seat in Congress in this garb ; and, as these 
became the colors of the filmed Continental army, their origin 
becomes a subject of inquiry. 

The portrait of the elder Peale, painted in 1772, represents 
Washington in the uniform of the provincial troops, which, for 
good cause, was varied from that of the British line. In the 
former corps the coat was blue faced with crimson, in the lat- 
ter scarlet faced with blue, — colors which had been worn since 
their adoption in the reign of Queen Anne. To continue Peale's 
delineation of Colonel Washington's uniform, the coat and waist- 
coat, out of which is seen protruding the " order of march," 
are both edged with silver lace, with buttons of white metal. 
An embroidered lilac-colored scarf falls from the left shoulder 
across the breast and is knotted at the right hip, while sus- 
pended by a blue ribbon from his neck is the gorget bearing 
the arms of Virginia, then and afterwards a distinctive emblem, 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 297 

as the fusee he carries by a sling was the companion of every 
officer. This was the very dress he wore on the day of Brad- 
dock's signal defeat. 

Blue — than which no color can be more soldierly — had its 
precedent, not only in the British Horse Guards, but in the 
French and other armies of Continental Europe. It is to 
Sweden, however, that we must look for the origin of the cele- 
brated blue and buff, as we find the Eoyal Swedes wearing it 
as early as 1715. In 1789 they were attired in the very cos- 
tume of the Continentals. 

The General wore rich epaulettes and an elegant small sword. 
He also carried habitually a pair of screw-barrelled, silver- 
mounted pistols, with a dog's head carved on the handle. It 
also appears that he sometimes wore the light-blue ribbon across 
his breast, between coat and waistcoat, which is seen in Peale's 
portrait painted for Louis XYI. This badge, which gave rise 
to the mistaken idea that Washington was a Marshal of France, 
was worn in consequence of an order issued in July, 1775, to 
make the persons of the generals known to the army. By the 
same order the major and brigadier generals were to wear pink 
ribbons, and the aides-de-camp green. An old print of General 
Putnam exhibits this peculiarity. Cockades of different colors 
were assigned by orders in 1776 as distinguishing badges for 
officers. 

Peale's portrait of Colonel Washington, together with other 
valuable paintings at Arlington House, were removed by Mrs. 
Lee when she left her residence in May, 1861. Although con- 
siderably injured by the rough usage of war times, every lover 
of art will be glad to know that they have been preserved. The 
gorget which has been mentioned as having been worn by 
Washington when he sat to the elder Peale is now preserved 
as a precious relic in the Quincy family, of Boston. A pair of 
epaulettes worn by the General at Yorktown, together with 
some other mementos, are in the cabinets of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society. 

The commander-in-chief, upon taking possession of his head- 
quarters, selected the southeast chamber for his sleeping-apart- 
13* 



298 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

ment. What vigils he kept here in the silent watches of the 
night, what invocations were made for Providential aid and 
guidance, when, escaping from the sight of men, he unbosomed 
himself and bowed down beneath the weight of his responsi- 
bilities, the walls alone might tell. 

" Yes, within this very room, 
Sat he in those hours of gloom, 
Weary both in heart and head." 

Washington was very exact in his habits. It is said he 
always shaved, dressed himself, summer and winter, and an- 
swered his letters by candle-light. Nine o'clock was his hour 
for retiring. 

The front room underneath the chamber, already mentioned 
as the poet's study, was appropriated by the General for a simi- 
lar purpose. This opens at the rear into the library, an apart- 
ment occupied in the day of the great Virginian by his military 
family. In the study the ample autograph was appended to 
letters and orders that have formed the framework for contem- 
porary history ; the march of Arnold to Quebec, the new or- 
ganization of the Continental army, the occupation of Dorches- 
ter Heights, and the simple but graphic expression of the final 
triumph of patient endurance in the following order of the 
day: — 

" Head Quarters, 17th March 1776. 
" Parole Boston. Countersign^. Patrick.'" 
" The regiments under marching orders to march to-morrow 
morning. Brigadier of the Day, General Sullivan. 

" By His Excellency's Command/' 

Here, too, our General rose to his full stature when, in his 
famous letter to General Gage, he gave utterance to the feelings 
of honest resentment called forth by the supercilious declara- 
tions of that officer in language which must have stung the 
Briton to the quick : — 

" You affect, sir, to despise all rank not derived from the same 
source with your own. I cannot conceive one more honorable than 
that which flows from the uncorrupted choice of a brave and free 
people, — the purest source and original fountain of all power." 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 299 

Napoleon, when in exile at St. Helena, remarked | to an 
Englishman while arguing against the foolish attempt to make 
him relinquish the title of- Emperor, " Your nation called Wash- 
ington a leader of rebels for a long time, and refused to acknowl- 
edge either him or the constitution of his country ; but his 
successes obliged them to change and acknowledge both." 

The phrase of " military family," in which was included the 
entire staff of the General, originated in the British army. The 
custom of embracing the suite of a general in his household, 
and of constituting them in effect members of his family, was 
not practised in the armies of Continental Europe. Washing- 
ton was fortunately able to support the charge of this practice, 
as well as to control the incongruous elements sometimes 
grouped about his person. Of his first staff, Gates, the head, 
became soured, and, fancying his position far beneath his merits, 
a restraint soon appeared in his demeanor. Mifflin, the first 
aid, afterwards governor of Pennsylvania, became involved in 
the Conway cabal ; and Eeed, the General's secretary and most 
trusted friend, became at one time so doubtful of the success of 
the American arms, that he is said to have received a British pro- 
tection. But Heed's patriotism was proof against a most artful 
attempt to bribe him through the agency of a beautiful woman. 
When assured of her purpose, he addressed her in these words : 
" I am not worth purchasing, but such as I am, the king of 
Great Britain is not rich enough to do it." 

Trumbull, the painter, who was made an aid in the early 
days of the siege, confesses his inability to sustain the exigencies 
of his position. He relates that the scene at headquarters was 
altogether new and strange to him. 

" I now," he says, " found myself in the family of one of the most 
distinguished men of the age, surrounded at his table by the princi- 
pal officers of the army, and in constant intercourse with them ; it 
was further my duty to receive company and do the honors of the 
house to many of the first people of the country of both sexes. I 
soon found myself unequal to the elegant duties of my situation, and 
was gratified when Mr. Edmund Randolph (afterwards Secretary of 
State) and Mr. Baylor arrived from Virginia, and were named aids- 
du-camp, to succeed Mr. Mifflin and myself." 



300 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

George Baylor, whom "Washington said was no penman, hav- 
ing expressed a desire to go into the artillery with Knox, the 
General appointed Moylan and Palfrey to fill the places of the 
former and of Randolph, who was obliged to leave Cambridge 
suddenly on his own affairs. Baylor is the same officer who, 
as colonel of dragoons, was surprised and made prisoner by 
General Grey at Tappan, with the loss of the greater part of 
his men inhumanly butchered while demanding quarter. Moy- 
lan, a gay, rollicking Irishman, was appointed commissary-gen- 
eral, — a place he soon left for the line. Harrison, who succeeded 
Eeed as secretary, lacked grasp for his multifarious duties, 
though he continued in the staff until 1781. David Hum- 
phreys, the soldier-poet, was, for his gallantry at Yorktown, 
selected to carry the captured standards to Congress, as Baylor 
had carried the news of victory at Trenton, — Humphreys had 
first been aid to Putnam. Alexander Hamilton, who served 
Washington as a member of his military family with singular 
ability, left the General in anger on account of a scolding he 
had received from him for some delay in sending off despatches 
at Yorktown. Tench Tilghman was a dashing cavalier and an 
excellent scribe. He served Washington nearly five years, dur- 
ing which he was in every action in which the main army was 
engaged. General Lloyd Tilghman, a descendant, who fought 
on the Confederate side in the late war, was captured at Port 
Henry and confined for some time at Fort Warren, in Boston 
harbor. He appeared again in Boston at the festival of the 
Society of the Cincinnati in 1872 as the representative of his 
brave ancestor. 

While loitering in the apartments devoted to official business, 
it may not be uninteresting to refer to the chirography of the 
leaders of the Continental army, most of whom handled the 
sword and pen equally well. Washington's characters were 
large, round, and never appear to have been penned in haste. 
Knox wrote indifferently when he entered the army, but his 
hand soon became straggling and difficult to decipher, his mind 
being so much more active than his pen that his MS. is filled 
with interlineations. Greene wrote a fair, clear, running-hand ; 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 301 

his language couched in good, terse phrase. Wayne, far from 
being the boor that Andre's epic makes him, not only held a 
fluent, but a graphic pen, as witness his despatch : — 

" Stoney Point, 16th July, 1779, — 2 o'clock, a. m. 
"Dear General, — The fort and garrison, with Colonel Johnston, 
are ours. Our officers and men behaved like men who are deter- 
mined to be free. Yours most sincerely, 

"Ant y Wayne." 

Gates wrote a handsome, round hand ; so did Schuyler, St. 
Clair, Sullivan, and Stirling. Lee took rather more care of his 
handwriting than of his dress ; his characters are bold and 
legible. Lafayette wrote like a Frenchman. Steuben's and 
Chastellux's were rather an improvement on Lafayette's diminu- 
tive strokes. 

Whatever may be said of Washington's Fabian policy, it is 
certain the pugnacious element was not wanting in his charac- 
ter. He wished to carry Boston by assault, but was overruled 
by his council ; he wished to fight at Germantown, with an 
army just beaten ; and again at Monmouth against the advice 
of a council of war, with Lee at its head. In the latter battle, 
where he was more than half defeatad, disaster became victory 
under his eye and voice. Here he is said to have been fear- 
fully aroused, appearing in an unwonted and terrible aspect. 
An eyewitness of one of those rare but awful phenomena, a 
burst of ungovernable wrath from Washington, related that on 
seeing the misconduct of General Lee, he lost all control of 
himself, and, casting his hat to the ground, stamped upon it in 

his rage. 

" In every heart 
Are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war ; 
Occasion needs but fan them and they blaze." 

This battle has always reminded us of Marengo, where De- 
saix, arriving on the field to find the French army beaten and 
retreating, calmly replied to the question of the First Consul, 
"The battle is lost ; but it is only two o'clock, wc have time, 
to gain another." But Lee was not Desaix, and the chief, not 
the lieutenant, saved the day. Lafayette always said Washing- 
ton was superb at Monmouth. 



302 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Another incident, perfectly authentic, exhibits "Washington's 
personal magnetism and prowess. It is related that one morn- 
ing Colonel Glover came in haste to headquarters to announce 
that his men were in a state of mutiny. On -the instant the 
General arose, and, mounting his horse, which was always kept 
ready saddled, rode at full gallop to the mutineers' camp, ac- 
companied by Glover and Hon. James Sullivan. Washington, 
arrived on the spot, found himself in presence of a riot of seri- 
ous proportions between the Marblehead fishermen and Mor- 
gan's Einemen. The Yankees ridiculed the strange attire and 
bizarre appearance of the Virginians. Words were followed by 
blows, until an indescribable uproar, produced by a thousand 
combatants, greeted the appearance of the General. He had 
ordered his servant, Pompey, to dismount and let down the 
bars which closed the entrance to the camp ; this the negro was 
in the act of doing, when the General, spurring his horse, leaped 
over Pompey's head, cleared the bars, and dashed among the 
rioters. " The General threw the bridle of his horse into his 
servant's hands, and, rushing into the thickest of the fight, 
seized two tall, brawny riflemen by the throat, keeping them 
at arm's length, talking to and shaking them." His command- 
ing presence and gestures, together with the great physical 
strength he displayed, — for he held the men he had seized as 
incapable of resistance as babes, — caused the angry soldiers to 
fall back to the right and left. Calling the officers around him, 
with their aid the riot was quickly suppressed. The General, 
after giving orders appropriate to prevent the recurrence of 
such an affair, cantered away from the field, leaving officers and 
men alike astonished and charmed with what they had wit- 
nessed. "You' have both a Howe and a Clinton in your 
army," said a British officer to a fair rebel. " Even so ; but 
you have no Washington in yours," was the reply. 

On the occasion when Colonel Patterson, Howe's adjutant- 
general, brought to Washington at New York the letter ad- 
dressed to " George Washington, Esq., &c, &c," an officer who 
was present at the interview says his Excellency was very 
handsomely dressed and made a most elegant appearance. 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 303 

Patterson appeared awe-struck, and every other word with him 
was " may it please your Excellency," or " if your Excellency 
please." After considerable talk on the subject of the letter, 
the Colonel asked, " Has your Excellency no particular com- 
mands with which you would please to honor me to Lord 
and General Howe 1 " " Nothing but my particular compli- 
ments to both," replied the General, and the conference closed. 

Of his generals, Washington's relations with Knox were the 
most intimate and confidential. ■ Lafayette fully shared in the 
feelings of love and veneration with which Knox regarded his 
hero. The appointment of Mad Anthony to command the 
army against the Northwestern Indians showed that the Presi- 
dent had great confidence in his courage and ability. Greene 
was thought to have possessed greater influence in the councils 
of the general-in-chief than any other of his captains. None 
other of the superior officers appear to have stood on as familiar 
a footing as these. St. Clair was a Scotsman, Montgomery an 
Irishman, as was also General Conway, while Lee and Gates 
were Englishmen by birth. 

It is not a little surprising that in our republican army there 
should have been an officer born on our soil who not only 
claimed the title to an earldom, but also to be addressed as 
" My Lord " by his brother officers. He signed himself sim- 
ply " Stirling." A bon vivant, he was accused of liking the 
bottle fully as much as became a lord, and more than became 
a general. On convivial occasions he was fond of fighting his 
battles over. 

One of Stirling's daughters, Lady Kitty, made a private mar- 
riage with Colonel William Duer, who acted so noble a part 
during the memorable cabal in Congress to elevate Gates to the 
chief command. Lady Kitty kept her secret so well that even 
her father's most intimate friends were not informed of it, and 
when Colonel Duer stated that he was married he was supposed 
to be jesting, until it was announced that the pair had passed 
the night together at the house of a friend. 

Lafayette always kept a huge bowl of grog on his table for 
all comers. Despite his deep red hair, he was one of the finest- 



304 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

looking men in the army. His forehead was good, though re- 
ceding ; his eyes hazel ; his mouth and chin delicately formed, 
exhibiting beauty rather than strength. His carriage was 
noble, his manner frank and winning. He never wore powder, 
but in later years became quite bald and wore a wig. 

The Marchioness was not critically handsome, but had an 
agreeable face and figure, and was a most amiable woman. 
Mademoiselle and Master George were considered in their youth 
fine children, and the friends of the Marquis thought he made 
a great sacrifice of domestic happiness in espousing the cause 
of our country as warmly as he did. His son, George "Wash- 
ington Lafayette, who was confided to a Bostonian's care dur- 
ing one of the stormy periods of his father's career after his 
return to France, graduated at Harvard, and died at La Grange 
in 1849. 

Count Eochambeau could not speak a word of English, nor 
could' the brothers, Baron and Viscount Viomenil, the Mar- 
quis Laval, or Count Saint Maime. The two Counts Deux 
Ponts, on the other hand, spoke pretty well, while General 
Chastellux had fully mastered the language. During the stay 
of the Trench at Newport, an invitation' to the petites soupers 
of the latter officer was eagerly welcomed by intelligent Ameri- 
cans. 

It has been said there is not a proclamation of Napoleon to 
his soldiers in which glory is not mentioned and duty forgot- 
ten ; there is not an order of Wellington to his troops in which 
duty is not inculcated, nor one in which glory is even alluded 
to. Washington's orders contain appeals to the patriotism, 
love of country, and nobler impulses of his soldiers. He re- 
buked profligacy, immorality, and kindred vices in scathing 
terms ; he seldom addressed his army that he did not confess 
his dependence on that Supreme guidance which the two pre- 
ceding illustrious examples ignored. 

In this study probably assembled the councils of war, at 
which we may imagine the General standing with his back to 
the cavernous fireplace, his brow thoughtful, his lips compressed 
beyond their wont, while the glowing embers paint fantastic 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 305 

pictures on the wainscot, or cast weird shadows of the tall figure 
along the floor. Around the board are Ward, Lee, and Put- 
nam in the places of honor, with Thomas, Heath, Greene, Sul- 
livan, Spencer, and Knox in the order of rank. If the subject 
was momentous, or not finally disposed of to his satisfaction in 
the council, it was Washington's custom to require a written 
opinion from each of the generals. 

Opposite the study, on your left as you enter, is the recep- 
tion-room, in which Mrs. Washington, who arrived in Cam- 
bridge at about the same time as the news of the capture of 
Montreal, — twin events which gladdened the General's heart, 
— received her guests. These, wo may assume, included all the 
families of distinction, either resident or who came to visit their 
relations in camp. On the day of the battle of Bunker Hill 
the untoward and afflicting scenes so affected one delicate, sen- 
sitive organization that the lady became deranged, and died in 
a few months. This was the wife of Colonel, afterwards Gen- 
eral, Huntington. 

But the gloomy aspect was not always uppermost, and gayety 
perhaps prevailed on one side of the hall, while matters of 
grave moment were being despatched on the other. It would 
not be too great a flight of fancy to imagine the lady of the 
household looking over the list of her dinner invitations while 
her lord was signing the sentence of a court-martial or the 
order to open fire on the beleaguered town. Mrs. Washington 
entered this house on the 11th December, 1775, having for the 
companions of her journey from Virginia Mrs. Gates, John 
Custis and lady, and George Lewis. The General's wife had 
very fine dark hair. A portion of her wedding dress is highly 
prized by a lady resident in Boston, while a shoe possessed by 
another gives assurance of a small, delicate foot. 

We pass into the dining-room, in which have assembled many 
of the most distinguished military, civil, and literary characters 
of our country. Washington's house steward was Ebenezer Aus- 
tin, who had been recommended to him by the Provincial Com- 
mittee. Mrs. Goodwin of Charlestown, the mother of Ozias 
Goodwin, a well-known merchant of Boston, was his house- 

T 



806 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

keeper; she had been rendered homeless by the destruction 
of (Jharlestown. The General had a French cook and black 
servants, — then as common in Massachusetts as in the Old 
Dominion. 

The General breakfasted at seven o'clock in the summer and 
at eight in the winter. He dined at two, and drank tea early 
in the evening ; supper he eschewed altogether. His breakfast 
was very frugal, and at this meal he drank tea, of which he was 
extremely fond. He dined well, but was not difficult to please 
in the choice of his viands. There were usually eight or ten 
large dishes of meat and pastry, with vegetables, followed by a 
second course of pastry. After the removal of the cloth the 
ladies retired, and the gentlemen, as was then the fashion, par- 
took of wine. Madeira, of which he drank a couple of glasses 
out of silver camp cups, was the General's favorite wine. 

Washington sat long at table. An officer who dined with 
him says the repast occupied two hours, during which the Gen- 
eral was toasting and conversing all the time. One of his aides 
was seated every day at the bottom of the table, near the Gen- 
eral, to serve the company and distribute the bottles. Wash- 
ington's mess-chest, camp equipage, and horse equipments were 
complete and elegant ; he broke all his own horses. 

Apropos of the General's stud, he had two favorite horses, 
— one a largej elegant chestnut, high-spirited and of gallant 
carriage, which had belonged to the British army ; the other 
a sorrel, and smaller. This was the horse he always rode in 
•battle, so that whenever the General was seen to mount him 
the word ran through the ranks, " We have business on hand." 
Washington came to Cambridge in a light phaeton and pair, 
but in his frequent excursions and reconnoitring expeditions he 
preferred the saddle, for he was an admirable horseman. Billy, 
the General's black groom and favorite body-servant, has be- 
come an historical character. 

In order that nothing may be wanting to complete the in-door 
life in this old mansion in 1775 and 1776, we append a dinner 
invitation, such as was issued daily, merely cautioning the 
reader that it is not the production of the General, but of one 
of his family : — 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 307 

" The General & Mrs Washington present their compliments to 

Col? Knox & Lady, begs the favor of their company at dinner on 

Friday half after 2 o'clock 

" Thursday Evening Feby 1st." 

Among other notables who sat at the General's board in this 
room was Franklin, when he came to settle with his fellow- 
commissioners, Hon. Thomas Lynch of Carolina, and Benjamin 
Harrison of Virginia, the new establishment of the Continental 
army. General Greene, who was presented to the philosopher 
on the evening of his arrival, says : — 

" I had the honor to be introduced to that very great man, Doctor 
Franklin, whom I viewed with silent admiration during the whole 
evening. Attention watched his lips, and conviction closed his 
periods." 

We do not know whether grace was habitually said at the 
General's table or not, but the great printer would have will- 
ingly dispensed with it. It is related, as illustrative of the 
eminently practical turn of his mind, that he one day aston- 
ished that devout old gentleman, his father, by asking, "Father, 
why don't you say grace at once over the whole barrel of flour 
or pork, instead of doing so three times a day 1 " Neither his- 
tory nor tradition has preserved the respectable tallow-chan- 
dler's reply. 

The first steps taken by Washington to form a body-guard 
were in orders of the 11th of March, 1776, by which the com- 
manding officers of the regiments of the established army 
were directed to furnish four men each, selected for their 
honesty, sobriety, and good behavior. The men were to be 
from five feet eight to five feet ten inches in height, hand- 
somely and well made, and, as the General laid great stress 
upon cleanliness in the soldier, he requested that partic- 
ular attention might be paid to the choice of such as were 
" neat and spruce." The General stipulated that the can- 
didates for his guard should be drilled men, and perfectly 
willing to enter upon this new duty. They were not re- 
quired to bring either arms or uniform, which indicates the 



308 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 




FLAG OF THE BODY-GUARD. 



General's intention to newly arm and clothe his guard. This 
was the origin of the celebrated corps oV elite. 

Caleb Gibbs of 
Rhode Island was 
the first commander 
of the Life Guard. 
He had been adjutant 
of Glover's regiment, 
and must have rec- 
ommended himself 
to the commander-in- 
chief. After the w T ar 
he resided in Boston, 
and was made naval 
store-keeper, with an 
office in Battery- 
march Street. 

Washington took his departure from the Yassall house be- 
tween the 4th and 10th of April, 1776, for New York. On 
the 4th he wrote from Cambridge to the president of Congress, 
and on the 11th he was at New Haven en route to New York. 
On the occasion of his third visit to Boston, in 1789, he again 
passed through Cambridge and stopped about an hour at his 
old headquarters. He then received a military salute from the 
Middlesex militia, who were drawn up on Cambridge Common 
with General Brooks at their head. 

The next person to claim our attention is Nathaniel Tracy, 
who became the proprietor after the war. He kept up the tra- 
ditions of the mansion for hospitality, though we doubt whether 
his servants ever drank choice wines from pitchers, as has been 
stated. Tracy was from Newburyport, where, with his brother, 
he had carried on, under the firm name of Tracy, Jackson, and 
Tracy, an immense business in privateering. Martin Brimmer 
was their agent in Boston. He fitted out the first private 
armed vessel that sailed from an American port, and during the 
war was the principal owner of more than a score of cruisers, 
which inflicted great loss upon the enemy's marine. The follow- 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 309 

ing extract will enable the reader to form a correct estimate of 
the hazard with which this business was conducted : — 

"At the end of 1777 his brother and he had lost one and forty 
ships, and with regard to himself he had not a ray of hope but in 
a single letter of marque of eight guns, of which he had received no 
news. As he was walking one day with his brother, discussing with 
him how they should procure the means of subsistence for their 
families, they perceived a sail making for the harbor, which fortu- 
nately proved a prize worth £ 20,000 sterling. 

" In 1781 he lent the State of Massachusetts five thousand pounds 
to clothe their troops, with no other security than the receipt of the 
State Treasurer." 

Mr. Tracy was generous and patriotic. Benedict Arnold was 
his guest while preparing to embark his troops for the Kenne- 
bec in 1775. He had entertained in 1782, at his mansion at 
Newburyport, M. de Chastellux and his aides, Isidore Lynch, 
De Montesquieu, and Talleyrand the younger, "the Frenchmen 
could manage his good old Madeira and Xeres, but the home- 
brewed punch, which was always at hand in a huge punch- 
bowl, proved too much for De Montesquieu and Talleyrand, 
who succumbed and were carried drunk to bed. 

Tracy went to France in 1784, where he met with due re- 
turn for his former civilities from Yiscount Noailles and some 
of his old guests. In 1789, when again a resident of Newbury- 
port, he received Washington, then on his triumphal tour \ and 
in 1824 Lafayette, following in the footsteps of his illustrious 
commander, slept in the same apartment he had occupied. 

Next comes Thomas Russell, a Boston merchant-prince, ac- 
credited by the vulgar with having once eaten for his breakfast 
a sandwich made of a hundred-dollar note and two slices of 
bread. 

Following Thomas Russell came, in March, 1791, Dr. An- 
drew Craigie, late apothecary-general to the Continental army, 
in which service it is reported he amassed a very large fortune. 
For the estate, then estimated to contain one hundred and fifty 
acres, and including the house of Harry Vassall, — designated 
as that of Mr. Batchelder, but then occupied by Frederick Geyer, 



310 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

— Mr. Craigie gave £ 3,750 lawful money, — a sum so small 
in comparison with its value that our reader will pardon us for 
mentioning it. 

Craigie was at Bunker Hill, and assisted in the care of the 
wounded there. He was at Cambridge during the siege of 
Boston, and doubtless dispensed his nostrums liberally, for 
physic was the only thing of which the army had enough, if 
we may credit concurrent testimony. He was with the North- 
ern army, under General Gates, in 1777 and 1778, and was the 
confidant of Wilkinson, Gates's adjutant-general, in his corre- 
spondence with Lord Stirling, growing out of the Conway im- 
broglio. Craigie was a director and large proprietor in the 
company which built the bridge connecting East Cambridge with 
Boston, to which his name was given. After his decease his 
widow continued to reside here. 

Craigie entertained two very notable guests in this house. 
One of them was Talleyrand, the evil genius of Napoleon, who 
said of him that he always treated his enemies as if they were 
one day to become his friends, and his friends as if they were 
one day to become his enemies. " A man of talent, but venal 
in everything." The world has long expected the private me- 
moirs of this remarkable personage, but the thirty years which 
the prince stipulated in his will should first elapse have passed 
without their appearance. Without doubt, the private corre- 
spondence of Talleyrand would make a record of the most 
startling character, and give an insight into the lives of his con- 
temporaries that might reverse the views of the world in gen- 
eral in regard to some of them. Few dared to fence with the 
caustic minister. " Have you read my book 1 " said Madame 
de Stael to the prince, whom she had there made to play a 
part as well as herself. " No," replied Talleyrand ; " but I 
understand we both figure in it as women." 

In December, 1794, the Duke of Kent, or Prince Edward as 
he was styled, was in Boston, and was received during his 
sojourn with marked attention. He was then in command of 
the forces in Canada, but afterwards joined the expedition, 
under Sir Charles Grey, to the French West Indies, where he 



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY. 311 

so greatly distinguished himself by his reckless bravery at the 
storming of Martinique and Guadaloupe that the flank division 
which he commanded became the standing toast at the admiral's 
and commander-in-chief's' table. The Duke was a perfect mar- 
tinet, and was so unpopular with the regiment he commanded 
under O'Hara, at Gibraltar, that it repeatedly mutinied. He 
was the father of Queen Victoria. 

The prince was accompanied to Boston by his suite. He was 
veiy devoted to the ladies, especially so to Mrs. Thomas Rus- 
sell, whom he attended to the Assembly at Concert Hall. He 
danced four country-dances with his fair companion, but she 
fainted before finishing the last, and he danced with no one 
else, at which every one of the other eighty ladies present was 
much enraged. At the British Consul's, where the prince held 
a levee, he was introduced to the widow of a British officer. 
Her he saluted, while he only bowed to the other ladies pres- 
ent, which gave rise to feelings of no pleasant nature in gentle 
breasts. It was well said by one who knew the circumstance, 
that had his Highness settled a pension on the young widow 
and her children it would indeed have been a princely salute. 
The prince visited Andrew Craigie. He drove a handsome pair 
of bays with clipped ears, then an unusual sight in the vicinity 
of Old Boston. 

In October, 1832, Mr. Sparks married Miss Frances Anne 
Allen, of New York, and in April, 1833, he began house- 
keeping in the Craigie house. He was at this time engaged on 
his " Writings of George Washington," and notes in his journal 
under the date of April 2 : — 

" This clay, began to occupy Mrs. Craigie's house in Cambridge. 
It is a singular circumstance that, while I am engaged in preparing 
for the press the letters of General Washington which he wrote at 
Cambridge after taking command of the American army, I should 
occupy the same rooms that he did at that time." * 

Edward Everett, whose efforts in behalf of the Mount Vernon 
fund associate his name with our memorials of Washington, 
* Rev. Dr. Ellis's Memoir. 



312 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

resided here just after his marriage, and while still a professor 
in the University of which he became president. Willard, 
Phillips, and Joseph Emerson Worcester, the lexicographer, 
also lived in the house we are describing. 

We now return to Mr. Longfellow, who became an inmate 
of the house in 1837, with Mrs. Craigie for his landlady. The 
Harvard professor, as he then was, took possession of the south- 
east chamber, which has been mentioned as Washington's. In 
this room were written " Hyperion " and " Voices of the 
Night," and to its inspiration perhaps we owe the lines, — 

" Lives of great men all remind us 
We may make our lives sublime. 
And, departing, leave behind us 
Footprints on the sands of time." 

Nearly all of Longfellow's productions, except " Coplas de 
Manrique " and " Outre Mer," which were written at Bruns- 
wick, have been penned in the old Yassall homestead. 

It is related that one day, after patiently exhibiting his grand 
old mansion to a knot of visitors, to whose many questions he 
replied with perfect good-humor, the poet was about to close 
the door on the party, when the leader and spokesman accosted 
him with the startling question, — 

" Can you tell me who lives in this house now ? " 

" Yes, sir, certainly. I live here." 

" What name 1 " 

" Longfellow." 

" Any relation to the Wiscasset Longfellers 1 " 

This house will ever be chiefly renowned for its associations 
with the Father of his Country, and when it is gone the spot 
will still be cherished in loving remembrance. Yet some pil- 
grims there will be who will come to pay tribute to the literary 
memories that cluster around it ; soldiers who conquer with the 
pen's point, and on whose banners are inscribed the watchword, 
" Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war." 



OLD TOKY ROW AND BEYOND. 



313 



CHAPTER XIV. 



OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 

'* Damned neuters, in their middle way of steering, 
Are neither fish nor flesh, nor good red herring." 



Dryden. 

THE house standing at the corner of Brattle and Sparks 
Streets, almost concealed from view by a group of giant, 
sweet-scented Lindens, has undergone such material change as 
not to he easily recognized for a relic of Colonial times. The 
old, two-storied house, seen in our view, has been bodily raised 




from its foundations, on the shoulders of a more youthful 
progeny, as if it were anxious to keep pace with the growth of 
the trees in its front, and still overlook its old landscape. 

Of about the same length of years as its neighbor which we 
have but now left, this house was in ante-Revolutionary times 
first the abode of Richard Lechmere, and later of Jonathan 
Sewall, — royalists both. To the former, a Boston distiller, 
we have already alluded ; but the latter may well claim a 
passing notice. He belonged to one of the old distinguished 
families of Massachusetts, and was himself a man of very 

14 



31-i HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

superior abilities. He was the intimate friend and associate of 
John Adams, and endeavored to dissuade him from embarking 
in the cause of his country. To Sewall, Adams addressed the 
memorable words, as they walked on the Great Hill at Port- 
land, " The die is now cast ; I have now passed the Eubicon : 
swim or sink, live or die, survive or perish, with my country is 
my unalterable determination." " Jonathan and John " again 
met in London, — the former a broken-down, disappointed man ; 
the latter ambassador of his country at the very court upon 
whose niggardly bounty the loyalist had depended. Sewall 
came to Nova Scotia, where he had been appointed Judge of 
Admiralty. He married Esther, the sister of Dorothy Quincy, 
wife of Governor Hancock. Sewall's house was mobbed in 
September, 1774, and he was forced to flee into Boston. Old 
Mac Fin gal asks, — 

" Who made that wit of water gruel 
A judge of Admiralty, Sewall ? " 

Sewall's house was at length assigned to General Eiedesel as 
his quarters. His accomplished lady has left a souvenir of her 
sojourn, in her autograph, cut with a diamond on the pane of 
a west window, though we ought, perhaps, to say that the sig- 
nature is considered as the General's by his biographer. Un- 
fortunately, in removing the glass from, the sash the pane was 
broken, an accident much regretted by Mr. Brewster, the 
present owner of the premises. 

Here the Germans enjoyed a repose after the vicissitudes 
they had undergone, and in which we hardly know how suffi- 
ciently to admire the fortitude and devotion of the Baroness. 
The beautiful lindens were a souvenir of the dear Ehineland, 
— not unworthy, indeed, to adorn even the celebrated prome- 
nade of Berlin. The Baroness frankly admits that she never 
was in so delightful a place, but the feeling that they were 
prisoners made her agreeable surroundings still echo the words 
of old Bichard Lovelace : — 

" Stone walls do not a prison make, 
Nor iron bars a cage." 



OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 315 

They had balls and parties, and duly celebrated the king's 
birthday. All the generals and officers, British and German, 
came here often, except Burgoyne, between whom and Eiedesel 
a coolness existed. When Phillips was put under arrest Gen- 
eral Heath recognized Eiedesel as chief in command. Madame 
Eiedesel had here an opportunity of returning the civilities of 
General Schuyler in a measure, by attentions to his daughter, 
who had married a gentleman named Church, and who, for 
reasons of his own, lived in Boston under the assumed name of 
Carter. Church was an Englishman, of good family, who had 
been unfortunate in business in London. He came to America, 
became a good whig, and, in connection with Colonel Wads- 
worth of Connecticut, secured a principal share of the contract 
for supplying the French troops in our service. After the peace 
he returned to England. 

The uniform of the Germans was blue, faced with yellow, 
which came near causing some awkward mistakes where they 
were engaged. The poet describes the enemy's battle-array at 
Monmouth in this wise : — 

" Britons with Germans formed apart for fight, 
The left wing rob'd in blue, in red the right." 

The "Baroness relates that she found Boston pretty, but in- 
habited by violent, wicked people. The women, she says, 
regarded her with repugnance, and were even so shameless as 
to spit at her when she passed by them. She also accuses 
" that miserable Carter " of having proposed to the Americans 
to chop off the heads of the generals, British and German, salt 
them clown in barrels, and send one over to the Ministry for 
every hamlet or town burned by the king's forces. Madam the 
baroness, it appears, was not less credulous than some foreign 
writers that have appeared since her day. 

The way in which the German contingent saved their colors 
after the surrender of Saratoga is worthy of mention. The flags 
were not given up on the day when the troops piled their arms, 
as the treaty required, but were reported to have been burnt. 
This was considered, and in fact was, a breach of military faith, 



316 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

but, being supposed to have occurred through the pardonable 
chagrin of veterans who clung to the honor of their corps, was 
overlooked. Only the staves, however, were burned, the flags 
being concealed with such care by General EAedesel that even 
his wife did not know of it until the Convention troops were 
ordered to Virginia, when the Baroness sewed the flags in a 
mattress, which was passed into the enemy's lines at New York 
among the effects of an officer. 

The next of the seven families which Madame Eiedesel men- 
tions as forming the exclusive royalist coterie of Old Cambridge 
was that of Judge Joseph Lee, whose house is still standing, 
not far from that of Mr. Brewster's, in our progress towards the 
setting sun. 

This house has the reputation of being the oldest in Cam- 
bridge, although another situated on Linnsean Street may, we 
think, dispute the palm with it. Evidently the building now 
appears much changed from its primitive aspect, both in re- 
spect to size and distinctive character. Externally there is 
nothing of the Puritan type of architecture, except the huge 
central chimney-stack, looking as if the very earth had borne 
it up with difficulty, for its outline appears curved where its 
bulk has settled unequally. The west end is of rough-cast, 
and the whole outward structure as unsesthetic and austere as 
possible. 

Judge Lee was a loyalist of a moderate stamp, who remained 
in Boston during the siege. He was permitted to return to 
Cambridge, and ended his days in his antique old mansion 
in 1802. 

The large square house at the corner of Eayerweather Street 
is comparatively modern, belonging to the period of about 1740- 
50, when we find a large proportion of the mansions of the Colo- 
nial gentry sprang up, under the influence of rich harvests from 
the French War, which gave our merchant princes an opportu- 
nity of thrusting their hands pretty deeply into the exchequer 
of Old England. Captain George Euggles owned the estate in 
Shirley's time, but before the Revolution it became the resi- 
dence of Thomas Fay er weather, for whom the street is named. 



w w\ 




OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 317 

The house, passed into the possession of William Wells, in 
whose family it still remains. 

Having brought the reader a considerable distance from our 
point of departure, we at length come to a halt and consult our 
guide-book of only fifty odd years ago. It tells us we have 
arrived at " the cross road south of the late Governor Gerry's, 
now Eev. Charles Lowell's, seat." This is Elm wood, the resi- 
dence of James Russell Lowell. 

It is a pleasure to happen upon an old Colonial estate retain- 
ing so much of its former condition as this. It embodies more 
of the idea of the country-house of a provincial magnate than is 
easity supplied to the limited horizons and scanty areas of some 
of our old acquaintances. The splendid grove of pines is a 
reminiscence of the primitive forest ; the noble elms have given 
a name to the compact old mansion-house and its remaining 
acres ; and there are still the old barn and outbuildings, with 
the remnant of the ancient orchard. It is easy to see that the 
poet's pride is in his trees, and one lordly elm, seen from his 
library window, is worthy to be remembered with Milton's 
Mulberry or Luther's Linden. The grounds in front of the 
house are laid out in accordance with modern taste, but at the 
back the owner may ramble at will in paths all guiltless of 
the gardener's art, and imagine himself threading the solitudes 
of some rural glade remote from the sights and sounds of the 
town. 

Of old the road, like a huge serpent, enveloped the estate in 
its folds as it passed by the front of the house, and again 
stretched along the ancient settlement of Watertown where 
were its first humble cottages, its primitive church, and its 
burial-place. It is almost in sight of the spot, now the vicinity 
of the Arsenal, where the English landed by Captain Squeb at 
Xantasket, in May, 1G30, made their way up Charles River, 
and bivouacked in the midst of savages. Sir Richard Salton- 
stall's supposed demesne is still pointed out in the neighbor- 
hood, and at every step you meet with some memorial of the 
founders. According to old town boundaries, the estate of which 
we are writing was wholly in Watertown, and extended' its 



318 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

fifteen acres quite to Fresh Pond, on the north ; it is now 
within the limits of Cambridge. 

It has often been stated that this house was built by Colo- 
nel Thomas Oliver (of whom anon) about 1760 ; but as the 
estate was only leased by him until the year 1770, when he 
acquired the title by purchase of the heirs of John Stratton, of 
"Watertown, we do not give full credence to the assertion. The 
house is older in appearance, both without and within, than its 
usually assumed date of construction would warrant. More- 
over, in the conveyance to Oliver the messuage itself is named. 

The house is of wood, of three stories, and is, in itself, 
without any distinctive marks except as a type of a now obso- 
lete style of architecture. A suit of yellow and white paint 
has freshened the exterior, as the powder of the colonial pro- 
prietor might have once rejuvenated his wrinkled countenance. 
The tall trees bend their heads in continual obeisance to the 
mansion, like so many aged servitors ranged around their mas- 
ter. Inwardly the woodwork is plain, and destitute of the 
elaborate enrichment seen in Mr. Longfellow's. As you enter 
the hall, which goes straight through the house, you see the 
walls are covered with ancestral portraits and with quaint old 
engravings, rare enough to have dated from the birthday of 
copperplate. An antique bust occupies a niche on the stair- 
case • the old clock is there, and in every apartment are col- 
lected objects of art or specimens of ancient furniture, which 
seem always to have belonged to the house, so perfectly do they 
accord with wainscot, panel, and cornice. The reception-room 
is on the south side of the house, and behind it is the library. 
The poet's study, in which nearly all his poems have been 
written, is on the third floor. 

In the absence of the owner our visit was brief, nor do we 
feel at liberty longer to invade his domestic concerns, or revel 
amid his household gods. Not to fright away the muse from 
the old halls, another well-known poet, T. B. Aldrich, takes his 
seat in the arm-chair and rests his feet on the fender. Taken 
altogether, Elmwood is an earthly paradise to which few would 
be unwilling to attain, and were we sure its atmosphere were 



OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 319 

contagious, we could haunt the spot, inhaling deep draughts in 
its cool and grassy retreats. 

Thomas Oliver, the last of the lieutenant-governors under the 
crown, dwelt here before the Eevolution. He belonged to the 
Dorchester family, and claimed no relationship with Andrew 
Oliver, the stamp-master and successor of Hutchinson as lieu- 
tenant-governor. The Olivers were of Huguenot descent, re- 
nowned in ancient French chivalry, where the family patro- 
nymic, now shortened by a letter, was deemed worthy to be 
coupled with that of a Roland, a Rohan, or a Coligny. Thomas 
inherited a plentiful estate from his grandfather, James Brown, 
and his great-uncle, Robert Oliver, so that his father did not 
deem it necessary to provide further for him in his will than to 
bequeath some testimonials of affection. 

This dapper little man, as the crown-deputy was called, 
pleasant of speech and of courtly manners, was in no public 
office previous to his appointment under Hutchinson, — a 
choice so unexpected that it was currently believed that the 
name of Thomas had been inserted by accident in the commis- 
sion instead of that of Peter, the chief justice. But our Machia- 
velli, who had planned the affair, knew better. 

One fine afternoon in September, 1774, the men of Middle- 
sex appeared in the lieutenant-governor's grounds and wrung 
from him a resignation, after which he consulted his safety by 
a flight into Boston. How bitter to him was this enforced 
surrender of his office, may be gathered from the language in 
which it is couched : — 

" My house at Cambridge being surrounded by four thousand 
people, in compliance with their commands I sign my name, Thomas 
Oliver." 

The house was utilized as a hospital after Bunker Hill, the 
opposite field being used as the burying-ground for such as died 
here. In opening new streets, some of the remains have been 
exhumed, — as many as eight or ten skeletons coming to light 
within a limited area. 

The royalist's habitation became the seat of his antipodes, — 



320 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

a democratic governor, later vice-president, who resided here 
while holding these offices. Elbridge Gerry's signature is 
affixed to the Declaration of Independence, and he was one of 
the three commissioners sent by Mr. Adams to France in 1797. 
He was chosen by the Provincial Congress, of which he was a 
member, to attend the Gascon Lee, in his proposed interview 
with Burgoyne, who was to the full as bombastic, and who 
doubtless thought of his former companion in arms, 

" Nay an' thou 'It mouth, 
1 '11 rant as well as thou." 

As one of the delegates to frame the Federal Constitution at 
Philadelphia, in 1787, Mr. Gerry refused to sign that instrument, 
and opposed its adoption by the Convention of Massachusetts. 
The result was for a time doubtful, but when the scale seemed 
to incline in favor of the federalists, Gerry kept close at Cam- 
bridge, and his adherents made no motion for his recall. Han- 
cock, by the offer of a tempting prize, — supposed to be no less 
than the promise of the support of the Massachusetts leaders 
for the presidency in case Virginia failed to come in, — was in- 
duced to appear and commit himself in favor of ratification. 
Adams came over, and with the aid of Rufus King, Parsons, 
Otis, and the rest, the measure was carried. This scrap of 
secret history has but recently come to light. 

But Mr. Gerry will doubtless be recollected as well for the 
curious political manipulation of the map of Old Massachusetts, 
which gave a handle to his name by no means flattering to the 
sensibilities of its owner, and notoriety to one of the most effec- 
tive party caricatures of his time. Briefly, he was the means 
of introducing the word " Gerrymander" into our political vo- 
cabulary. The origin of the name and of the caricature have 
been subjects of quite recent discussion. 

The democratic or republican party having succeeded in re- 
electing Mr. Gerry in 1811, with both branches of the Legisla- 
ture in their hands, proceeded to divide the State into new 
Senatorial districts, so as to insure a democratic majority in the 
Senate. Hon. Samuel Dana, then President of the Senate, is 



OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 321 

considered the author of the scheme, which has also been at- 
tributed to Joseph Story, who was Speaker of the House until 
January 12, 1812, when he resigned. The bill passed both 
branches early in February, 1812, and received the approval of 
the governor. Under tins new and then audacious arrange- 
ment, the counties of Essex and Worcester were carved up in 
such a manner as to disregard even the semblance of fairness. 
County lines were disregarded and public convenience set at 
naught, in order to overcome the federal majorities in those 
counties. 

The singular appearance of the new Essex district, where a 
single tier of towns was taken from the outside of the county, 
and Chelsea, in Suffolk, attached, caused a general outcry from 
the federalists. The remainder of the county was completely 
enveloped by this political deformity, which, with its extremi- 
ties in the sea at Salisbury, and Chelsea, walled out the remain- 
ing towns from the rest of the State. The map of Essex, which 
gave rise to the caricature, was drawn by Nathan Hale, who, 
with Henry Sedgwick, edited the "Boston Weekly Messenger," 
in which the geographic-political monstrosity first appeared, 
March 6, 1812. 

At a dinner-party at Colonel Israel Thorndike's house in 
Summer Street, Boston, — the site of which, previous to the 
great fire of 1872, was occupied by Gray's Block, — this map 
was exhibited and discussed, and its grotesque appearance gave 
rise to the suggestion that it only wanted wings to resemble 
some fabled monster of antiquity. Upon this Tisdale, the 
artist and miniature-painter, who was present, took his pencil 
and sketched the wings. The name of Salamander being pro- 
posed, Mr. Alsop, it is said, suggested that of Gerrymander, 
which at once won the approval of the company ; but it is not 
so clear who has the honor of inventing this name, — an honor 
claimed also for Ben Eussell and Mr. Ogilvie. With this 
designation the Gerrymander appeared in the "Boston Gazette" 
of March 26, 1812. The artist succeeded in forming a very 
tolerable caricature of Governor Gerry out of the towns of 
Andover, Middleton, and Lynnfield. Salisbury formed the 

14* U 



322 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

head and beak of the griffin, Salem and Marblehead the claws. 
The design of this famous political caricature has been errone- 
ously attributed both to Stuart and to Edward Horsman. 
The word " Gerrymander," though fully incorporated into our 
language, has but lately found a place in the dictionaries. 

Upon the death of Mr. Gerry the property passed into the 
possession of Eev. Charles Lowell, father of the poet, by pur- 
chase from Mrs. Gerry. The new owner greatly improved and 
beautified the estate, the splendid elms giving it the name of 
Elmwood. Dr. Lowell is best remembered as the pastor of the 
West Church in Boston, where more 
than half a century's service has so 
fully incorporated his name with that 
historic edifice that the church is better 
known to-day as Lowell's than by its 
ancient designation. Dr. Lowell suc- 
ceeded Eev. Simeon Howard, in whose 
time the dismantled appearance of the 
"West Church gave occasion to a scene 
not usually forming a part of the services. 
As a couple of Jack Tars were passing by the meeting-house 
on a Sunday, observing the remains of the steeple, which was 
cut down by the British troops in the year 1775, " Stop, Jack," 
says one of them, " d — n my eyes, but this ship is in distress ; 
she has struck her topmast. Let 's go on board and lend her a 
hand." Upon which they went in, but, finding no assistance 
was required of them, they sat down until service was ended. 
On their going out they were heard to say, " Faith, the ship 
which we thought was in distress has the ablest pilot on board 
that we 've seen for many a day." 

Elmwood comprises about thirteen acres, and is separated 
only by the road from Mount Auburn, where the mould en- 
closes the remains of two of the poet's children. 

" I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn, 
Where a little headstone stood, 
How the flakes were folding it gently, 
As did robins the babes in the wood." 




OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 323 

James Russell Lowell, after leaving college, became, in 
1840, a member of the Suffolk bar, and opened an office in 
Boston. In this he was true to the traditions of his family. 
His grandsire filled the office of United States District Judge 
by the appointment of Washington ; his father studied law first 
and divinity afterwards; while his uncle, the "Boston Rebel" 
of 1812, was also bred to the bar. From another uncle, Francis 
Cabot, the city of Lowell takes its name ; and those delightful 
intellectual feasts, the Lowell lectures, arose from the bounty of 
another member of this family. Mr. Lowell soon relinquished 
the law, and his arguments are better known to the world 
through the medium of his essays and verse than by the law 
reports. In 1843 Lowell joined with Robert Carter in the 
publication of the "Pioneer," a magazine of brief existence. 
The broad humor and keen satire of the " Biglow Papers," 
which appeared during the Mexican War, are still relished by 
every class of readers, — the Yankee dialect, now so seldom 
heard in its native richness, giving a piquancy to the language 
and force to the poet's ideas. We have the assertion of a 
popular modern humorist * that his productions made no im- 
pression on the public until clothed in the Yankee vernacular, 
so much is the character associated with the idea of original 
mother- wit and shrewd common-sense. 

" Agin' the chimbly crooknecks hung, 
An' in amongst 'em rusted 
The old queen's arm thet gran'ther Young 
Fetched back from Concord busted." 

The inquiry seems pertinent whether we are not on the eve 
of passing into a period of mediocrity in literature as well as 
of statesmanship. Prescott, Cooper, Irving, Everett, and Haw- 
thorne have gone before ; Longfellow, Bryant, Lowell, Holmes,. 
Emerson, Bancroft, and Motley are descending into the vale of 
years, and the names of those who are to take their places are 
not yet written. The coming generation will perhaps look 
back upon ours as the Golden Age of American Letters, com- 

* Henry W. Shaw (Josh Billings). 



324 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

parable only to the Golden Age of Statesmen in the day of 
Webster, Clay, Calhoun, and their contemporary intellectual 
giants. 

As respects our catalogue of native authors, few, if any, have 
ever had their pens sharpened by necessity or dipped in the ink 
of privation. Most of them have been endowed with sufficient 
fortunes, gravitating naturally into literature, which they have 
enriched, to the great fame of American culture at home and 
abroad. Longfellow, it is said, is more read in England than 
any native poet, Tennyson not excepted ; Lowell is also a 
favorite there ; and the works of Irving, Cooper, and Haw- 
thorne are to be found, in and out of the author's mother 
tongue, in the stalls of London, on the Paris quays, and in the 
shops of Leipsic and Berlin. Perhaps in the multitude of young 
authors now earning their daily bread in intellectual labor, 
some may yet rise on the crest of the wave worthy to receive 
the golden stylus from these honored hands, for in no one re- 
spect is the growth of our country more remarkable than in the 
enlarged and still increasing area of the literary field by the 
multiplication of vehicles of information. 

Nearly opposite the Lowell mansion once stood the white 
cottage of Sweet Auburn, some time the home of Caroline 
Howard, who became the wife of Eev. Samuel Gilman, of 
Charleston, in 1819, and is widely known as an authoress of 
repute. At the age of sixteen she commenced a literary career 
with her first composition in poetry, " Jepthah's Eash Vow," 
which was followed by other efforts in prose and verse. Per- 
haps her best-known work is the " Eecollections of a Southern 
Matron." 

Miss Howard was the daughter of Samuel Howard, a ship- 
wright of North Square, Boston. Her father dying in her in- 
fancy, Caroline came to live with her mother at Sweet Auburn, 
whose wild beauty impressed her young mind with whatever 
of poetic fire she may have possessed. Indeed, it is her own 
admission that her childhood days, passed in wandering amid 
the tangled groves, making rustic thrones and couches of moss, 
stamped her highly imaginative temperament with its subtle 



OLD TORY ROW AND BEYOND. 325 

influences. In girlhood she was fairy-like ; her long oval face, 
from which the clustering curls were parted, having a deeply 
peacefully contemplative expression. She was a frequent vis- 
itor at Governor Gerry's, where she found books to feed, if not 
to satisfy, her cravings. Owing to changes of residence, her 
education was indifferent ; but her mind tended most naturally 
to the beautiful, music and drawing superseding the multipli- 
cation-table. When she was about fifteen she walked, every 
week, four miles to Boston, to take lessons in French. 



326 HISTOKIG FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTER XY. 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 



" Crown me with flowers, intoxicate me with perfumes, let me die to the 
sounds of delicious music." — Dying words of Mirabeau. 

IT would be curious to analyze the feelings with which a 
dozen different individuals approach a rural cemetery. 
Doubtless repulsion is uppermost in the minds of the greater 
number, for death and the grave are but sombre subjects at the 
best, and few are willingly brought in contact with the outward 
symbols of the King of Terrors. 




ENTRANCE TO MOUNT AUBURN. 



Much of the aversion to graveyards which is felt by our 
country people may be attributed to the hideous and fantastic 
emblems which are sculptured on our ancestors' headstones. 



MOUNT AUBUKN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 327 

The death's-head, cross-hones, and hour-glass are but little em- 
ployed by modern art. We are making our cemeteries attrac- 
tive, and — shall we confess it ? — that rivalry displayed along 
the splendid avenues of the living city finds expression in the 
habitations of the dead. 

The city of the dead has much in common with its bustling 
neighbor. It has its streets, lanes, and alleys, its aristocratic 
quarter, and its sequestered nooks where the lowlier sleep as 
well as they that bear the burden of some splendid mausoleum. 
It has its ordinances, but they are for the living. Here we 
may end the comparison. Statesmen who in life were at 
enmity lie as quietly here as do those giants who are entombed 
in Westminster Abbey with only a slight wall of earth between. 
Pitt and Fox are separated by eighteen inches. 

" But where are they — the rivals ! a few feet 
Of sullen earth divide each winding-sheet." 

Authors, learned professors, men of science, ministers, soldiers, 
and magistrates people the silent streets. Every trade is repre- 
sented. The rich man, whose wealth has been the envy of 
thousands, takes up his residence here as naked as he came 
into the world. Sin and suffering are unknown. There is no 
money. Night and day are alike to the inhabitants. The dis- 
tant clock strikes the hour, unheeded. Time has ended and 
Eternity begun. 

Perhaps Franklin expressed the idea of death as beautifully 
as has been done by human lips, to Miss Hubbard on the death 
of his brother. He says : — 

" Our friend and we are invited abroad on a party of pleasure that 
is to last forever. His chair is first ready, and he is gone before us, 
— we could not all conveniently start together, and why should you 
and I he grieved at this, since we are soon to follow, and we know 
where to find him 1 " 

Mount Auburn is a miniature Switzerland, though no loftier 
summits than the Milton Hills are visible from its greatest ele- 
vation. It has its ranges of rugged hills, its cool valleys, its 
lakes, and its natural terraces. The Charles might bo the 



328 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Rhine, and Fresh Pond — could no fitter name be found for 
so lovely a sheet of water 1 — would serve our purpose for Lake 
Constance. A thick growth of superb forest-trees of singular 
variety covered its broken, romantic surface ; deep ravines, 
shady dells, and bold, rocky eminences were its natural attri- 
butes. You advance from surprise to surprise. 

Art has softened a little of the savage aspect without impair- 
ing its picturesqueness ; has hung a mantle of green tresses 
around the brow of some gray rock, or draped with willows 
and climbing vines each sylvan retreat. The green lawns are 
aglow with rich colors, — purple and crimson and gold set in 
emerald. Every clime has been challenged for its contribution, 
and the palm stands beside the pine. " How beautiful ! " is the 
thought which even the heavy-hearted must experience as they 
pass underneath the massive granite portal into this paradise. 
Nature here offers her consolation to the mourner, and man is, 
after all, only one of the wonderful forms sprung from her 
bosom. 

" Lay her i' the earth ; 

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh 

May violets spring ! " 

As you thread the avenues, the place grows wonderfully upon 
you. The repugnance you may have felt on entering gives way 
to admiration, until it seems as if the troubles of this life were 
like to fall from you, with your grosser nature, leaving in their 
stead nothing but peace and calm. Turn into this path which 
sometimes skirts the hillside, and then descends into a secluded 
glade environed with the houses of the dead. Here the work- 
men are enlarging the interior of a tomb, and the click of chisel 
and hammer vibrates with strange dissonance upon the stillness 
which otherwise enfolds the place. And one fellow, with no 
feeling of his office, is singing as he plies his task ! 

Who shall write the annals of this silent city 1 A sarcoph- 
agus on which is sculptured a plumed hat and sword ; a broken 
column or inverted torch ; a dove alighting on the apex of 
yonder tall shaft, or is it not just unfolding its white wings 
for flight ] the sacred volume, open and speaking ; a face trans- 



. MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 329 

figured, with holy angels flitting about in marble vesture. Here 
in a corner is one little grave, with the myrtle lovingly cluster- 
ing above ; and here is no more room, for all the members of 
the family are at home and sleeping. Each little ridge has its 
story, but let no human ghoul disturb the slumberer's repose. 

Pass we on to the tower and up to the battlement. Our 
simile holds good, for here in gray granite is a counterfeit of 
some old feudal castle by the Rhine. Here we stand, as it 
were, in an amphitheatre, hedged in by walls whose green 
slowly changes into blue ere they lose themselves where the 
ocean lies glistening in the distance. The river, making its 
way through the hills, is at our feet. The rural towns which 
the city, like some huge serpent, ever uncoiling and extending 
its folds, is gradually enveloping and strangling, nestle among 
the hillsides. Seaward, the smoke from scores of tall chimneys 
seams and disfigures the delicate background of the sky, while 
they tell of life and activity within the vast workshop beneath. 
Let the great city expand as it will, here in its midst is a city 
of graves, its circle ever extending. It needs no soothsayer to 
tell us which will yet enroll the greater number. 

A view of Mount Auburn by moonlight and from this tower 
we should not commend to the timid. The white monuments 
would seem so many apparitions risen from their sepulchral 
habitations. The swaying and murmuring branches would send 
forth strange whisperings above, if they did not give illusive 
movement to the spectral forms beneath. But none keep vigil 
on the watch-tower, unless some spirit of the host below stands 
guard upon the narrow platform waiting the final trumpet 
sound. 

Mount Auburn has always been compared with the great 
cemetery of Paris, originally called Mont Louis, but now every- 
where known by the name of old Francois Delachaise, the con- 
fessor of Louis Quatorze, and of whom Madame de Maintenon 
said some spiteful things. The celebrated French cemetery was 
laid out on the grounds of the Jesuit establishment, and first 
used for sepulture in 1804, nearly thirty years previous to the 
occupation of Mount Auburn for a similar purpose. The area 



330 HISTOEIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

of the American considerably exceeds that of the Parisian cem- 
etery, while its natural advantages are greatly superior. 

The two remaining survivors among the founders of Mount 
Auburn are Dr. Jacob Bigelow, its earliest friend, and Alexan- 
der Wadsworth, who made the first topographical survey. It 
should afford singular gratification to have lived to witness not 
only their creation serving as a model for every city and village 
in the land, but also to see that it has been the actual means 
of preserving the remains of those gathered within its compass 
from that miscalled spirit of progress which threatens the exist- 
ence of the most ancient of our city graveyards. It is as like 
as not that the remains of Isaac Johnson, the founder of Bos- 
ton, will be disturbed erelong, and that the old enclosure 
which contains the ashes of John Hancock and of Samuel 
Adams will be crossed by an avenue. When this takes place 
we hope the relics of these patriots will be removed to some of 
the rural cemeteries, where their countrymen may rear that 
monument to their memory the lack of which savors much too 
strongly of the ingratitude of republics. 

But this experience in regard to cemeteries is not peculiar to 
American cities. The old burial-ground of Bunhill-Fields in 
London, called by Southey the " Campo Santo of the Dissent- 
ers," and where Bunyan, George Fox, Isaac Watts, and De Foe 
lie, was only preserved, in 1867, after considerable agitation. 
The ancient custom of entombment under churches may also be 
considered nearly obsolete. The old English cathedrals are 
vast charnel-houses, in which interments are prohibited by act 
of Parliament, special authority being necessary for interment 
in Westminster Abbey. The mandates of health alone were 
long disregarded, but the absolute insecurity of this method of 
sepulture has been too recently demonstrated by the great fire 
in Boston to need other examples. 

Neither are the rural cemeteries totally exempt from adverse 
contingencies. War is their great enemy, and as they are 
usually located upon ground the best adapted to the operations 
of a siege, they have often become the theatre of sanguinary 
conflict. The shattered stones at Gettysburg, where the dead 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 331 

once lay more thickly above ground than beneath, will long 
bear witness of the destructive power of shot and shell. Cave 
Hill, the beautiful burial-place of Louisville, Ky., still bears 
the scars made by General Nelson's trenches. 

We do not now need to cite the customs of the ancients who 
often built their cemeteries without their walls, since the prac- 
tice of interment within the limits of our larger cities is now 
generally expressly forbidden. Our own ancestors chose the 
vicinity of their churches, as was the custom in Old England. 
Sometimes burials were made along the highways, and not un- 
frequently in the private grounds of the family of the deceased. 
This custom, which has prevailed to its greatest extent in the 
country, has, in many instances, been productive of consequen- 
ces revolting to the sensibilities. Often the fee of a family 
graveyard has passed to strangers. "We have seen little clusters 
of gravestones standing uncared for in the midst of an open 
field ; we have known them to lie prostrate for years, and even 
to be removed where they obstructed the mowing. 

There was a curious resemblance between the manner of 
sepulture practised by the ancient Celts and Britons with that 
in vogue among the American aborigines. The former buried 
their dead in cists, barrows, cavities of the rocks, and beneath 
mounds. The deceased were often placed in a sitting posture, 
and their arms and trinkets deposited with them. The latter 
heaped up mounds, or carefully concealed their dead in caves. 
The implements of Avar or the chase, belonging to the warrior, 
were always laid by his side for his use in the happy hunting- 
grounds. Some analogy in religious belief would justly be 
inferred from this similarity of customs. The Indian remains 
are commonly found in a sitting posture also, except where cir- 
cumstances do not admit of inhumation, when they are fre- 
quently placed on scaffolds, in a reclining posture, in the 
branches of trees and out of the reach of wild animals. This 
disposition of the dead appears to be peculiar to the red-men 
of North America. 

Our own sepulchral rites have altered but little in a century. 
Mankind yet craves "the bringing home of bell and burial." 



332 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

A hundred years ago, carriages being as yet confined to the 
few, the greater part of the mourners often walked to the grave. 
Decorum, indeed, exacted that the immediate relatives of a 
deceased person should walk in procession, no matter what the 
weather might be. These were followed by acquaintances, who 
paid with simulated sorrow the duties required of them by 
fashion. A train of empty carriages brought up the rear, while 
the bells were tolled to keep the devil at a respectful distance. 
The custom of the nearest friends following the body to the 
grave in their moments of greatest affliction originated, it is 
said, with us in New Enlgand. It is worthy of being classed 
with that other agonizing horror which compelled the mourner 
to listen to the fall of the clods upon the coffin. 

Hired mourners have not yet ♦ made their appearance among 
us ; but if, while we stand here in Mount Auburn, we scan the 
faces of the occupants of yonder long train of vehicles, how 
many shall bear the impress of real grief 1 

ei Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral. 

"Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student; I think it was to 
see my mother's wedding. " 

The increasing cost of funerals is becoming a matter of seri- 
ous solicitude. The equality of the grave is by no means appli- 
cable to these displays. The rich, who can afford to be lavish, 
are copied by the poor, who cannot afford it. The trappings of 
the hearse, the number and elegance of the carriages, are noted 
for imitation. " Such a one made a poor funeral," or " There 
were but half a dozen carriages." followed by an expressive 
shrug, are not uncommon remarks, serving to fix the worldly 
condition of the deceased. 

Pomp at funerals is an inheritance which lapsed into the 
observance of a few simple forms under our Puritan ancestors. 
It grew under the province into such proportions as called for 
the intervention of positive law to prevent the poorer classes 
ruining themselves, for it was long the custom to present 
mourning scarfs, gloves, and gold rings to all" the friends and 
relatives. 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. ooo 

In England Lord Chesterfield was among the first to dis- 
countenance ostentatious funerals. His will, marked by pecu- 
liarities, provides for his own last rites in these words : — 

" Satiated with the pompous follies of this life, of which I have 
had an uncommon share, I would have no posthumous ones dis- 
played at my funeral, and therefore desire to be buried at the next 
burying-place to the place where I shall die, and limit the whole 
expense at my funeral to one hundred pounds." 

Not unfrequently, however, the will of a deceased person is 
thwarted, as was the case with Governor Burnet, whose friends 
were determined that his exit should not be made without noise 
or ceremony, in accordance with his request. 

The Irish may claim pre-eminence for singularity in the 
funereal rite. With us the house of mourning is sacredly 
devoted to silence and sorrow. We step as lightly as if we 
feared the slumberer's awakening. The light burns dimly in 
the chamber of death, casting pale shadows on the recumbent, 
rigid figure, robed for eternity. Hushed and awe-stricken 
watchers flit noiselessly about. It is difficult, therefore, to 
comprehend the orgies which usually attend on a " wake." All 
we know is, it is a custom, and as such is respected, though to 
our mind " more honored in the breach than the observance." 

Our veneration for the dead is not of that fine, subtle quality 
that guards the place of sepulture, even of the great, with jeal- 
ous care. The mother of Washington long slept in an unknown 
grave ; the place where the ashes of Monroe were deposited was 
wellnigh forgotten, while that of President Taylor is neglected. 
It is doubtful if there are fifty persons now living who know 
the last resting-place of Samuel Adams. Michel ISTey has no 
monument in Pere la Chaise. What better illustration of the 
doom of greatness than the cash entry upon the parish records 
of the Madeleine 1 " Paid seven francs for a coffin for the 
Widow Capet." 

Low as we are inclined to estimate our own reverence for the 
departed, it is infinitely greater than exists in England or 
Erance at the present day. Just now we related that the 



334 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

graves of the martyrs were only preserved in London by a 
narrow chance. In the so-called work of restoration in the grand 
old cathedrals like Chester and Bath, it is stated that the 
bones of bishops, judges, and the magnates of the time, whose 
remains were supposed to have been consigned to everlasting 
rest, have been dug up from the cellars and carted away like 
so much rubbish ! 

In Pere la Chaise you may see half an acre of gravestones 
collected in a certain part of the cemetery.' These once belonged 
to graves, the leases of which having expired or purchase not 
being completed within a specific time, the headstones are re- 
moved, the remains disinterred and consigned to a common 
trench. In the face of that morbid sentimentality displayed by 
the French in the construction of their tombs and their decora- 
tion at certain periods with chaplets, wreaths, and immortelles, it 
is believed that no other civilized nation regards the burial of 
the common people with so much indifference. Even the poor 
Chinese sells himself to obtain a coffin in which to bury his 
father; and one of the most pleasing features of the American 
cemetery is the space set apart for the interment of strangers. 

Hamlet inquired of the grave-digger how long a man will lie 
in the earth ere he rot. This question has been answered in a 
manner from time to time where measures of identification have 
become necessary. The body of Henry IV. was recognized in 
Canterbury Cathedral after nearly four and a half centuries. 
The remains of Charles I. were also fully identified by the 
striking resemblance to portraits and the division of the head 
from the trunk. The bodies, in these cases, were of course em- 
balmed. Henry VIII. had been interred in the same vault in 
which Charles I. had been deposited. The leaden coffin of 
Henry, which was enclosed in one of wood, had been forced 
open, exhibiting the skeleton of the king after the lapse of 266 
years. The disinterment of bones in Egypt, Pompeii, and 
elsewhere, after they have lain in the earth more than a thou- 
sand years, renders it impracticable to fix any limit for their 
preservation. 

A city like Mount Auburn, which counts its eighteen thou- 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 



335 



sand inhabitants, requires time to observe. There are the 
natural beauties of tree, shrub, and flower; there are the 
tombs, the monuments, and the simple stones. Then there are 
the epitaphs, some of which even the casual visitor may not 
read without emotion. He may stand before the tablets of 
Kirkland, Buckminster, Everett, Story, Channing, or wander 
about until the name of Margaret Fuller or of Mrs. Parton 
stays his footsteps. Not far from the entrance is the tomb of 
the gifted Prussian, Spurzheim, a chaste and beautiful design. 
Bowditch's statue, in bronze, by Ball Hughes, challenges our 
respect for the man who was the equal of Laplace in everything 
but vanity. 




THE CHAPEL. 

Mount Auburn boasts of other architectural features besides 
its tombs, of which so many are now being built above ground 
that the avenues will, in time, acquire a certain resemblance to 
Pere la Chaise, where one seems always walking in the streets 
of a city. The Chapel is a gem of its kind, a cathedral in the 
diminutive. It has become a central object of attraction, from 
the works of art it contains, — the most remarkable specimens 
of statuary in America. They were designed to represent four 



336 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

distinct periods of American history, — the Colonial, Revolu- 
tionary, Assumption of Sovereignty, and the Supremacy of the 
Laws. 

The first phase is exhibited by John Winthrop, who appears 
" in his habit as he lived," with ruff, doublet, and hose. The 
figure is seated, and has a contemplative air. This was the 
work of Horatio Greenough. 

Crawford selected James Otis as a type of the Eevolution. 
His conception is grand and impressive in treatment, noble and 
striking in form and feature, though to us there appears a 
superabundance of drapery. Some fault has been found by 
critics with the pose, as too theatrical, but this objection does 
not find support in the very general admiration bestowed upon 
the work, which, to be judged by the groups that assemble be- 
fore it, is considered the peer among these marbles. Vinnie 
Eeam visited the Chapel when she was engaged in modelling 
her statue of Abraham Lincoln, and studied the figure of Otis 
attentively. 

The artist, who, we believe, became totally blind before this 
work was completed, did not succeed in creating the ideal of 
Otis as a ' flame of fire,' but rather, as it seems to us, of calm 
and conscious power. But this strength is expressed with 
great skill. Otis is given to us by Blackburn with a counte- 
nance rather cheerful than severe. He was a merry companion, 
irascible to a degree, but magnanimous, — the life of the clubs 
and detestation of the crown officers. He might have appeared 
in the very attitude in which Crawford's chisel has left him 
when making his celebrated reply to Governor Bernard. Hav- 
ing cited Domat, the famous French jurist, the Governor in- 
quired who Domat was. " He is a very distinguished civilian," 
answered Otis, " and not the less an authority from being un- 
known to your Excellency." 

Opposite the statue of Otis is that of John Adams, by Ran- 
dolph Rogers. It possesses much animation and character, 
being attired in the costume of the time, so that one sees the 
man as he really appeared, and not a lay figure. The garb of 
1776, male and female, civil and military, was worn with as 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 66 l 

much ease and grace as any more modern costume has been, 
nor will it in after time appear a whit more awkward than that 
which happens to be the fashion of the present generation. 
John Adams in toga and sandals would be no greater anachro- 
nism than Julius Caesar in trousers and French boots. 

No doubt the proudest moment Mr. Adams ever knew was 
the day on which he was presented to George III. as the first 
American Ambassador. " Sir," said the king, " I was the last 
man in my kingdom to consent to your independence, and I 
shall be the last to do anything to infringe it," — a manly as 
well as kingly speech. 

Judge Story's statue has a singular appropriateness in this 
place. He was the early friend of Mount Auburn, and de- 
livered the beautiful and impressive address of consecration. 
He often visited its precincts, and lies couched, as he wished to 
lie, beneath its green turf. His son, William W. Story, Avrought 
on his labor of love many years, and produced a masterpiece. 

Besides these more prominent subjects there are in the grounds 
of Mount Auburn numerous works from the chisels of Dexter, 
Brackett, Carew, and others. There is also the monumental 
urn erected in Franklin Street, Boston, in the day of the Old 
Crescent, in memory of Franklin, since placed above the tomb 
of Charles Bulfinch, one of the authors of that improvement. 
The first monument in the cemetery was erected over the re- 
mains of Hannah Adams, the historian. 

Powers and Crawford and the elder Greenough, after making 
the name of American art respected at home and abroad, now 
live only in their works. At the first Great Exhibition at 
Sydenham our sculptors bore off the palm for beauty, leaving 
to their European brethren the award for rugged strength. Of 
either of the triumvirate of deceased sculptors we have named 
it would be possible to say, — 

"He dated from the creation of the beautiful." 

The cemetery of Mount Auburn, which is worthy of being 
compared with no other than itself, owes its origin to the 
Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Within that body the 
15 v 



338 historic fields and mansions of Middlesex. 

idea originated with Dr. Jacob Bigelow, whose professional ex- 
perience condemned the practice of burials beneath the city 
churches, while the overcrowded state of the graveyards was an 
evil calling even more loudly for remedy. A meeting was held 
at Dr. Bigelow's house in Summer Street, Boston, as early as 
November, 1825, at which were present John Lowell, George 
Bond, William Sturgis, Thomas W. Ward, Samuel P. Gardiner, 
John Tappan, Dr. Bigelow, and Nathan Hale. From this time 
the purpose seems never to have been lost sight of by Dr. 
Bigelow. The credit of originating the idea of a rural cemetery 
in the. vicinity of Boston belongs to William Tudor, who before 
1821 suggested this very remedy for the evils attendant upon 
burials within the city. His plan did not differ from that 
eventually carried out in Mount Auburn. 

The Horticultural Society having been incorporated in 1829, 
an informal meeting was held at the Exchange Coffee House in 
November of the next year, to initiate steps to bring before the 
public a plan for the purchase of a garden and cemetery. From 
this meeting others proceeded, until a committee was formed 
with authority to secure a suitable site, George W. Brimmer, 
Esq., was then the proprietor of the tract known as Sweet 
Auburn, but previously as Stone's woods, which he had secured 
with the view of making himself a residence and park. These 
woods had, up to this time, been a favorite resort for parties of 
pleasure, but the axe had already begun its' work of ruin when 
Mr. Brimmer appeared on the scene to arrest it. This gentle- 
man, who had seen Pere la Chaise, became an active sympa- 
thizer with the object of establishing a cemetery on that plan. 
He had given $ 6,000 for Sweet Auburn, which he now ten- 
dered to the Horticultural Society for this sum. The offer was 
accepted. The names of the most prominent and influential 
members in the community are allied with the foundation. 
Webster, Story, and Everett took an active part. The one 
hundred subscribers required, at sixty dollars each, to complete 
the purchase, were quickly secured. On the 24th of Septem- 
ber, 1831, Mount Auburn was formally dedicated. The first 
interment took place during the following year. 



MOUNT AUBUKN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 339 

Clashing interests between the society and the lot-holders 
soon called for new measures. A small beginning had been 
made with the proposed garden, but the income from the cem- 
etery, greater than had been expected, promised to increase 
beyond the calculations of the most sanguine. It became evi- 
dent that the whole tract would be wanted for a cemetery. The 
idea of separation from the parent society under a government 
of its own suggested itself, and was at length projDosed by 
Marshall P. Wilder. The discussion on this point was warm 
and protracted ; ( so much so that Judge Story, who acted as 
chairman of the cemetery committee, one day took his hat and 
left the meeting in anger, but was induced to return. The 
terms of separation were finally arranged and incorporated into 
the charter of the Mount Auburn Association. The society 
relinquished its rights upon payment, annually, of one fourth of 
the income of the cemetery, after deducting a fixed sum for its 
expenditures. 

This most popular of our societies has already received a very 
large income from this source, — sufficient to enable it to ex- 
pand and beautify with its touch the most remote parts of the 
Union. Taste is developed. A hanging garden is suspended 
above the door of every cottage, and Hesperides gives up its 
golden treasures at our command. "Not the least of its benefits 
is the inauguration of Mount Auburn, where the weary 

" Choose their ground 
And take their rest." 

In his address on the occasion of laying the corner-stone of 
Old Horticultural Hall, in 1845, Mr. Wilder well said : — 

" And be it ever remembered, that to the Massachusetts Horticul- 
tural Society the community are indebted for the foundation and 
consecration of Mount Auburn Cemetery, — that hallowed resting- 
place, that garden of graves." 

We entered the cemetery with a funeral cortege, and we now 
depart with one. Once past the gate the staid and solemn 
collection of carriages becomes dismembered, and its sinuous 



340 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

black line parts in fragments. The driver cracks his whip, the 
horses break into a rattling pace, while the countenances of the 
so-called mourners are cleared as suddenly as if a cloud had 
passed from beneath the sun. Here comes the hearse to join 
the homeward race, and even the still weeping, reluctant friends 
are whirled away in spite of themselves. Is it a burial with 
military honors ] At entering the band plays a dirge, the com- 
rades following with arms reversed, downcast eyes, and meas- 
ured tread. The coffin is lowered into the grave and a volley 
discharged. Once beyond the gate arms are shouldered, the 
music strikes up a lively air, and the company marches away as 
gayly as on a field-day. Decorum would seem to challenge such 
observances. The contrast is somewhat too strongly defined ; 
the revulsion from grief to joyousness something discordant 
and unworthy. 

Emerging from Mount Auburn, we take counsel of the 
swinging sign pointing to the lane leading to Fresh Pond, 
which lies but a little distance away, embosomed among the 
woody hills. In England our ponds would be called lakes, 
and our lakes might vie with Caspian or Euxine. But our 
ponds have this advantage, that, while bearing their miniature 
billows in summer, they become in winter solid acres of ice, 
to be harvested within the huge storehouses on their banks. 
Nature has fixed these reservoirs where they may best slake the 
thirst of the cities, so that whether ten or twenty miles away 
we may drink of their waters. 

Fresh Pond seems to be the natural source of numerous 
underground streams, which are found whenever the earth is 
penetrated to any depth between it and Charlestown. Its 
shores have been looked upon with peculiar favor for country- 
seats by such as have known its natural advantages ; we would 
not attempt to fix a period when it was not a famed resort for 
recreation. Big-wigged magistrates and college students came 
here under the Colony, boating, angling, or haunting the cool 
groves. It was from the effects of exposure during a fishing 
excursion here that poor Governor Burnet got his death. 

Historically the place has its claims as having served as a 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 341 

refuge for the panic-stricken women and children of the neigh- 
borhood on the 19th of April, 1775. . One of these fugitives 

thus relates her experience : — 

• 

"A few hours with the dawning day convinced us the bloody 
purpose was executing ; the platoon firing assuring us the rising sun 
must witness the bloody carnage. Not knowing what the event 
would be at Cambridge at the return of these bloody ruffians, and 
seeing another brigade despatched to the assistance of the former, 
looking with the ferocity of barbarians, it seemed necessary to retire 
to some place of safety till the calamity was passed. My partner had 
been confined a fortnight by sickness. After dinner we set out, not 
knowing whither we went. We were directed to a place called 
Fresh Pond, about a mile from the town ; but what a distressed 
house did we find it, filled with women whose .husbands had gone 
forth to meet the assailants, seventy or eighty of these (with number- 
less infant children), weeping and agonizing for the fate of their 
husbands. In addition to this scene of distress we were for some 
time in sight of the battle ; the glittering instruments of death pro- 
claiming by an incessant fire that much blood must be shed, that 
many widowed and orphaned ones must be left as monuments of 
British barbarity. Another uncomfortable night we passed ; some 
nodding in their chairs, some resting their wearv limbs on the 
floor." 

Time out of mind the shores of the pond belonged to the 
Wyeths, and one of this family deserves our notice in passing. 
Nathaniel J. Wyeth was born and bred near at hand. Of an 
enterprising and courageous disposition, he conceived the idea 
of organizing a party with which to cross the continent and en- 
gage in trade with the Indian tribes of Oregon. He enlisted 
one-and-twenty adventurous spirits, who made him their leader, 
and with whom he set out from Boston on the 1st of March, 
1822, first encamping his party on one of the harbor islands, in 
order to inure them to field life. The voyagers provided them- 
selves with a novel means of transportation, — no other than a 
number of boats built at the village smithy and mounted on 
wheels. With these boats they expected to pass the rivers 
they might encounter, while at other times they were to serve 
as wagons. The idea was not without ingenuity, but was 



342 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

founded on a false estimate of the character of the streams and 
of the mountain roads they were sure to meet with. 

Wyeth and his followers pursued their route via Baltimore 
and the railway, which then left them at the base of the Alle- 
ghahies, onward to Pittsburg, at which point they took steam- 
boat to St. Louis, arriving there on the 18th of April. Hith- 
erto they had met with only a few disagreeable adventures. 
They were now to face the real difficulties of their undertaking. 
They soon discovered that their complicated wagons were use- 
less, and they were forced to part with them. The warlike 
tribes, whose hunting-grounds they were to traverse, began to 
give them uneasiness ; and, to crown their misfortunes, they 
now ascertained how ignorantly they had calculated upon the 
trade with the savages. 

St. Louis was then the great depot of the Indian traders, 
who made their annual expeditions across the Plains, prepared 
to fight or barter, as the temper of the Indians might dictate. 
The old trappers who made their abode in the mountain region 
met the traders at a given rendezvous, receiving powder, lead, 
tobacco, and a few necessaries in exchange for their furs. To 
one of these parties Wyeth attached himself, and it was well 
that he did so. 

Before reaching the Platte five of Wyeth's men deserted their 
companions, either from dissatisfaction with their leader, or 
because they had just begun to realize the hazard of the enter- 
prise. Nat Wyeth, however, was of that stuff we so expressively 
name clear grit. There was no flinching about him ; the Pacific 
was his objective, and he determined to arrive at his destination 
even if he marched alone. William Sublette's party, which 
Wyeth had joined, encountered the vicissitudes common to a 
trip across the plains in that day ; the only difference being that 
the New England men now faced these difficulties for the first 
time, whereas Sublette's party was largely composed of experi- 
enced plainsmen. They followed the course of the Platte, seeing 
great herds of buffalo roaming at large, while they experienced 
the gna wings of hunger for want of fuel to cook the delicious 
humps, sirloins, and joints, constantly paraded like the fruit of 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 343 

Tantalus before their greedy eyes. They found the streams 
turbulent and swift ; the Black Hills, which the iron-horse now 
so easily ascends, were infested with bears and rattlesnakes. 
Many of the party fell ill from the effects of drinking the 
brackish water of the Platte, Dr. Jacob Wyeth, brother of 
the captain and surgeon of the party, being unluckily of this 
number. 

Sublette, a French Creole, and one of those pioneers that have 
preceded pony-express, telegraph, stage-coach, and locomotive, 
in their onward march, had no fears of the rivalry of the New 
England men, and readily took them under his protection. Be- 
sides, they swelled his numbers by the addition of a score of 
good rifles, no inconsiderable acquisition when his valuable 
caravan entered the country of the treacherous Blackfeet, the 
thieving Crows, or warlike Nez-Perces. The united bands 
arrived at Pierre's Hole, the trading rendezvous, in July, where 
they embraced the first opportunity for repose since leaving the 
white settlements. 

At this place there was a further secession from Wyeth's 
company, by which he was left with only eleven men, the re- 
mainder preferring to return homeward with Sublette. Petty 
grievances, a somewhat too arrogant demeanor on the part of 
the leader, and the conviction that the trip would prove a 
failure, caused these men to desert their companions when only 
a few hundred miles distant from the mouth of the Columbia. 
Before a final separation occurred, a severe battle took place 
between the whites and their Indian allies and the Blackfeet, 
by which Sublette lost seven of his own men killed and thirteen 
wounded. None of Wyeth's men were injured in this fight, 
but a little later one of those who had separated from him was 
ambushed and killed by Blackfeet. 

Wyeth now joined Milton Sublette, the brother of William, 
under whose guidance he proceeded towards Salmon River. 
The Bostons, as the northwest coast Indians formerly styled all 
white men, arrived at Vancouver on the 29th of October, hav- 
ing occupied seven months in a journey which may now be 
made in as many days. The expedition was a failure, indeed, 



344 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

so far as gain was concerned, and Wyeth's men all left him at 
the Hudson's Bay Company's post. The captain, nothing 
daunted, and determined to make use of his dearly bought 
experience, returned to the States the ensuing season. His 
adventures may be followed by the curious in the pleasant 
pages of Irving's Captain Bonneville. Arriving at the head- 
waters of the Missouri, he built what is known as a bull-boat, 
made of buffalo-skins stitched together and stretched over a 
slight frame, in which, with two or three half-breeds, he con- 
signed himself to the treacherous currents and quicksands of 
the Bighorn. Down this stream he floated to its confluence 
with the Yellowstone. At Fort Union he exchanged his leather 
bark for a dug-out, with which he sailed, floated, or paddled 
down the turbid Missouri to Camp (now Fort) Leavenworth. 
He returned to Boston, and, having secured the means, again 
repaired to St. Louis, where he enlisted a second company 
of sixty men, with which he once more sought the old Oregon 
trail. 

This was forty years ago. Since then the Great American 
Desert, as it was called, has undergone a magical transforma- 
tion. Cities of twenty thousand inhabitants exist to-day where 
Wyeth found only a dreary wilderness ; from the Big Muddy 
to the Pacific you are scarcely ever out of sight of the smoke of 
a settler's cabin. In looking at the dangers and trials to which 
Wyeth found himself opposed, it must be admitted that he 
exhibited rare traits of courage and perseverance, allied with 
the natural capacity of a leader. His misfortunes arose through 
ignorance, and perhaps, to no small extent also, from that 
vanity which inclines your full-blooded Yankee to believe him- 
self capable of everything, because the word " impossible " is 
expunged from his vocabulary. 

Fresh Pond has a present significance due wholly to its limpid 
waters. In Havana, in San Francisco, and even in Calcutta, 
you may read the legend " Fresh Pond Ice." What, ice afloat 
on the Ganges ! New England winter transported in crystals 
to the bosom of the sacred stream ! How wondrous the first 
transparent cubes must have looked to the gaping Hindoo, and 






MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 345 

how old Gunga wo aid have shivered had one of the solid blocks 
fallen into his liery tide ! 

Little did John Winthrop and his" associates dream that the 
ice and granite which they saw with such foreboding would 
prove mines of wealth to their descendants. The traffic in ice 
was originated by Frederick Tudor in 1805, by shipping a 
single cargo in a brig to Martinique. It was characterized by 
the sagacious merchants of Boston as a mad project, and the 
adventurer was laughed at by the whole town. The cargo 
arrived in perfect condition. The business prospered. Mr. 
Tudor found other markets open to him, but want of means 
prevented his extending his trade to the East Indies for nearly 
thirty years after he had shipped his first cargo. He leased or 
purchased rights at Fresh Pond, Spot Pond, Walden Pond, and 
Smith's Pond, — a railway being built to the former, solely for 
the transportation of ice. 

In 1835 Mr. Tudor was unable to meet his indebtedness, but 
by favor of his creditors was enabled to go on and pursue with 
energy the business he had inaugurated. He discharged every 
obligation in full. His house owned property in Nahant, 
Charlestown, New Orleans, Jamaica, Calcutta, Madras, and 
Bombay, so that it was almost possible for him who at twenty- 
two had founded a traffic so extraordinary to repeat the proud 
boast of England, " that the sun never set on his possessions." 

Let us once more take the route of the old Watertown road. 
And first we greet the ancient hostelry standing in the angle 
formed by the intersection of Belmont Street. This was known 
in Revolutionary times as Edward Richardson's tavern, though, 
as we have seen, it dated much farther back. The house has 
been removed a short distance from its original location, and 
has experienced changes in its exterior ; but within are still in- 
tact bar-room, kitchen, and dining-room, with the spacious fire- 
place, beside which hung the loggerhead. This was one of the 
places where the Colony cannon and intrenching tools were 
concealed. It was also a famous place of resort for Burgoyne's 
officers, on account of the cock-pit kept on the other side of the 
road. Some of these gentlemen, from the West of England, 
15* 



346 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

were very partial to this cruel sport. We relate the answer of 
a poor woman to whom they applied to purchase a pair of fine 
birds. 

" I swear now you shall have neither of them ; I swear now 
I never saw anything so bloodthirsty as you Britonians be ; if 
you can't be fighting and cutting other people's throats, you 
must be setting two harmless creatures to kill one another. Go 
along, go. I have heard of your cruel doings at Watertown, 
cutting off the feathers, and the poor creatures' comb and gills, 
and putting on iron things upon their legs. Go along, I say." 

Suiting the action to the word, the old woman raised her 
crutch, and threatened to execute summary justice on the offi- 
cers, who did not consider it indiscreet to beat a hasty retreat. 
This tavern — subsequently Bird's, and also kept by Bellows — 
is now the residence of Joseph Bird, known through his efforts 
to discover a remedy for the prevention of conflagrations. 

It is not known where Eev. George Phillips, first pastor of 
the church of "Watertown, lies buried, but tradition having 
assigned the little knoll a short distance beyond the tavern and 
near the highway as his resting-place, Mr. Bird caused excava- 
tion to be carefully made there, without finding evidence of 
any remains. 

A short walk brings us to the ancient burial-place of Water- 
town. It is not a garden but a field of graves. The stones are 
scarcely visible above the clover-tops and daisies. The red 
brick and blue slate contrast somewhat sharply with the marble 
and granite of the neighboring cemetery. If anything, the place 
wears an even sadder aspect of neglect than its contemporary 
of Old Cambridge. The very cedars seem dying. The mossy 
old stone-wall which forms one side of the enclosure is half 
concealed by climbing vines. One little pathway divides the 
ground in twain, giving thoughtless pedestrians a short cut 
from street to street. A short cut through a graveyard ! 

" Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare." 

This graveyard is thought to have been used as early as 
1642, although the situation before mentioned on the Bird 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 347 

estate was conjectured to have preceded it, — a supposition 
which the examinations of Mr. Bird may be considered to have 
settled. Opposite, and well withdrawn from the highway, is 
the house which tradition, that ignis fatuus of history, alleges 
to have been the home of Eev. Mr. Phillips, — perhaps that 
built for him by Sir Eichard Saltonstall. This would place it 
in the front rank of old houses, where it clearly belongs, though 
it has for fifty years lost the distinctive English character it 
once possessed. 

The second graveyard in the town, according to its present 
limits, is at the junction of Mount Auburn and Common 
Streets. It was established about 1754, the year the meeting- 
house afterwards used for the sessions of the Provincial Con- 
gress was built on the same ground. The neighborhood of 
the first cemetery is the supposed site of the first or second 
meeting-house, it being usually placed beside Mr. Phillips's 
house. The almost invariable custom of that day would seem 
to indicate its location within the limits of the old burial-place. 

The church, to which the sittings of Congress gave political 
consequence, had a lofty steeple with square tower and open 
belfry. ■ The entrance was on the east side. It had galleries, 
and was furnished with the old-fashioned box paws, having 
those movable seats which every one at the conclusion of the 
service felt obliged to turn back with a concussion repeated 
throughout the house like an irregular volley of small-arms. 
Eev. William Gordon, author of the History of our Eevolution, 
officiated here as the chaplain of Congress. The vane which 
belonged to this house now adorns the pinnacle of the Metho- 
dist church. 

Before you come to the bridge in Watertown, first built 
in 1660, there stood until recently, within the foundry-yard 
of Miles Pratt & Co., an old dwelling-house notable for its 
dilapidation. It seemed scarcely able to bear its own weight, 
and, as it encumbered the ground, was pulled down. During 
the work of demolition the workmen found a number of old 
copper coins, which had remained concealed in chinks or crev- 
ices a century or more. This is said to have been the old 



348 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

printing-office of Benjamin Edes, who removed his type and 
press from Boston in the spring of 1775. He printed for the 
Provincial Congress, and man}^ of the old broadsides of the 
time bear his imprint. 

Ciossing the bridge, the first old house on the east side of the 
way — now the residence of Mr. Brigham — is the Coolidge 
tavern of Revolutionary times, kept by Nathaniel Coolidge from 
1764 to 1770, and afterwards by " the Widow Coolidge." Con- 
temporary with this was Learned's tavern, on the site of the 
Spring Hotel. Nathaniel Coolidge's was known in 1770 as the 
" Sign of Mr. Wilkes near Nonantum Bridge." The house was 
appointed as a rendezvous for the Committee of Safety in May, 
1775, in case of an alarm. President Washington lodged here 
in 1789, and styled the Widow Coolidge's house a very indif- 
ferent one indeed. 

Opposite Mr. Brigham's, and near the river-bank, is another 
old house, which is situated on ground belonging from the earli- 
est settlement to the Cook family. John Cook lived here during 
the Revolution, and some of the officers of our army boarded 
with him at the time of the siege, of whom Colonel Knox and 
Harry Jackson, bosom friends, enjoyed each other's companion- 
ship during brief intervals of rest. It was probably to this place 
Knox afterwards brought his wife. In a chamber of this house 
Paul Revere engraved his plates, and, assisted by John Cook, 
struck off the Colony notes emitted by order of the Provincial 
Congress. Lying contiguous to this estate along the river were 
the old fishing- wier lands of the town. 

Our rambles extend no farther in the direction we. have pur- 
sued than the vicinity of the " Great Bridge," so called in the 
day of' small things. Newton, it is true, abounds in pleasant 
walks, while not a few of its worthies have made a figure in 
history. Of these Captain Thomas Prentice, the famous Indian 
fighter in Philip's time, may, in the order of chronology, justly 
claim precedence. Reputed to have been one of Old Noll's sol- 
diers, he was a sort of second Myles Standish, tough as hickory, 
seasoned in war, and of approved conduct. He is said to have 
killed with an axe, on his farm in this town, a bear which 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 349 

attacked one of his servants. This old trooper lived in the 
saddle all his life, and died at eighty-nine of a fall from his 
horse. His place was at the corner of the road leading to 
Brookline, occupied of later years by the Harbacks. 

Joseph Ward, who built in 1792 the old mansion opposite 
the Skinner place, was appointed by General Heath his aide-de- 
camp the day after the battle of Lexington, and was the first to 
hold such a position in the American army. He was, in May 
following, with Samuel Osgood of Andover, appointed to a 
similar position by General Ward, subsequently holding the 
office of Commissary of Musters in the Continental Army. 

Michael Jackson, colonel of the 8th Massachusetts, has been 
met with in our pages. Joining his company at the Lexington 
alarm, in the absence of commissioned officers, he was chosen 
to command for the clay. He immediately stepped from his 
place in the ranks as a private, and gave, the order, Shoulder 
arms, platoons right wheel, quick time, forward march ! When 
he got to Watertown meeting-house the officers of the regiment 
were holding a consultation. Finding they were likely to con- 
sume valuable time in speeches, he led all that would follow 
him where they could strike the British. He fell in with 
Percy's column, and that gallant gentleman received him with 
all the honors of a hot discharge of musketry. Jackson's men 
were at first demoralized, but rallied and gave shot for shot. 

In the old Newton burying-ground the seeker will find the 
tomb in which were placed the remains of General William 
Hull and of his wife, Sarah (Fuller) Hull. A plain marble 
slab is inscribed, 

"Genl. William Hull 

An officer of the Revolution 

died Nov. 29th 1825 aged 72 years. 

Mrs Sarah Hull 
died August 2d 1826 aged 67 years." 

However he may read the history of the campaign which 
culminated in the surrender of Detroit, the student may not in 
this place withhold his sympathy for the misfortunes of a brave 
but ill-fated soldier. That he was not deficient in courage his 



350 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

conduct on some of the hardest-fought fields of the Revolution 
— Trenton, Monmouth, and Stony Point — sufficiently attest ; 
that he should suddenly have become a coward is as incredible 
as the charge of his being a traitor is absurd. Yet a military 
tribunal pronounced him guilty of cowardice, and but for the 
interposition of President Madison he would have been shot. 
Public sentiment was about equally divided in opinion as to 
whether Hull was the more coward or traitor, and current re- 
port had it that wagon-loads of British gold had been seen 
after the surrender going to his house at Newton. 

This case has always presented to our mind a parallel with 
that of Admiral Byng, an officer of distinguished bravery, who, 
in obedience to popular clamor, was shot for cowardice on the 
. quarter-deck of his own ship, meeting death like a hero. For- 
tunately General Hull was not called upon to refute a slander 
with his life. It is needless to recite instances of the fallibility 
of courts-martial, or of the power of a ministry or a cabinet to 
disgrace an officer for what is not unfrequently its own culpa- 
bility. No one need be reminded that the conqueror of Vicks- 
burg, of Chattanooga, and of Richmond was once on the eve 
of being permanently as he was temporarily superseded. The 
victor of Nashville and the present general of the armies of the 
United States were near meeting this destiny which others of 
lesser note are even now fulfilling. 

After General Hull's return to Newton at the close of the 
Revolutionary War, he resided first at Angier's Corner in a 
wooden house still standing on the west side of the road from 
Watertown.' Here he lived ten or twelve years, until, after his 
return from Europe in 1799, he built the large brick house on 
the opposite side of the street, in which he resided until he 
went, in 1805, to Detroit, when he sold it to John Richardson. 
This is the house, subsequently enlarged into a hotel, and 
known as the Nonantum House. 

At the peace, in 1783, General Hull had embarked in largo 
land speculations, being one of the owners of the " Connecticut 
Reserve," on which the city of Cleveland now stands, besides 
having interests in Georgia and elsewhere of a similar charac- 



MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 351 

ter. But his public life had always interfered with these spec- 
ulations. When he went to Detroit as governor, he invested 
most of his funds in real estate in the then frontier village, and 
was obliged to build a house for a residence. After he left 
Detroit all his property there was sacrificed. He had advanced 
large sums for the defence of the Territory, which, together with 
his salary as governor, mostly remained unpaid until his death, 
and were only obtained by his family after repeated petitions to 
Congress for relief. 

The farm in Newton of nearly three hundred acres, owned 
and occupied by General Hull up to the time of his death, was 
first occupied by Joseph Fuller, born in 1652. He was the 
son of John Fuller, who came over in 1635 with John Win- 
throp, Jr., and settled in Cambridge Village (New Town) in 
1644. In 1658 he bought a tract of one thousand acres in the 
northwest part of the town, long known as the Fuller Farm. 
His son Joseph, when he married Lydia, daughter of Edward 
Jackson, in 1680, received twenty acres of land from his father- 
in-law. This was part of a tract of five hundred acres which 
had belonged to Governor Bradstreet in 1646, and which the 
governor had bought of Thomas Mayhew of Watertown in 
1638 for six cows. Here Joseph Fuller built his house in 
1680, and together with about two hundred acres inherited 
from his father, it formed the farm which descended to his son 
Joseph, his grandson Abraham who added to it, and his grand- 
daughter Sarah Fuller, who married Colonel William Hull in 
1781. After the death of Mrs. Hull the place was sold and 
divided, a part coming into the possession of William Claflin, 
who has improved and embellished it with much taste. It 
might be called the " Governors' Farm," having been owned by 
Simon Bradstreet, William Hull, and William Claflin. 

About 1767 Abraham Fuller removed a part of the old house 
built in 1680, and replaced it with one more modern. The 
portion of the original structure retained by him remained until 
1814, when General Hull removed it, putting in its place the 
one he occupied till the time of his decease. The mansion, 
composed of the two structures built by Judge Fuller and his 



352 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

son-in-law, may still be seen at Newtonville, near the railway 
station, whither it was removed by John H. Roberts, who now 
occupies it. 

While this house was building the General resided in Bos- 
ton, leaving to his son-in-law, Dr. Samuel Clarke, the care of 
its construction. Dr. Clarke was the father of James Freeman 
Clarke, who wrote an able vindication of the General, and of 
Samuel C. Clarke. Upon taking possession of the farm in 
1814 the General devoted himself to agriculture, and was one 
of the first in New England to practice what is known as " high 
farming." He had little society except the members of his own 
family circle and a few friends and neighbors. Among these 
latter were Lucius M. Sargent, William Sullivan, William 
Little, George A. Otis, David Henshaw, and Nathaniel Greene, 
of Boston ; Madam Swan, of Dorchester ; Barney Smith, of 
Milton ; Gorham Parsons and S. W. Pomeroy, of Brighton ; 
Dr. Morse and Marshall Spring, of Watertown. He had nu- 
merous correspondents among his old comrades in arms. Gov- 
ernor Eustis and General Dearborn were of the number of his 
enemies. 

General Hull was about five feet eight, of florid complexion, 
and had blue eyes. He sat to Stuart, in 1821, who obtained 
an excellent likeness. At this time he was of portly figure, 
weighing perhaps one hundred and eighty pounds. Of active 
habits, he might be seen early and late walking or riding about 
his farm. At seventy he still crossed his saddle with military 
grace. His manners were courtly and pleasing. At a dinner 
given him in 1825 by citizens of Boston, those guests belong- 
ing to a newer generation were surprised to remark in him the 
fine old manner now quite gone out of fashion. The General 
received a visit from Lafayette in 1825. 

A pilgrimage to Nonantum Hill might revive shadowy 
glimpses of a scene worthy the pencil of Angelo, Guido, or 
Eaphael, — the Apostle Eliot preaching to the Indians in 1646. 
The reverend man of God, offering the Evangel with one hand, 
friendship and peace with the other, would be the central 
figure. The grave, attentive savages should be grouped in 






MOUNT AUBURN TO NONANTUM BRIDGE. 353 

picturesque attitudes about him. Eliot's was an example we 
can always contemplate with satisfaction as compensating 
largely for the malevolent persecution so often meted out to 
the red-man in the name of the Master. 

Having traversed the utmost limits of the Continental lines 
in Middlesex, from the Mystic to the Charles, and so far as in 
us lies set the camps in order, rebuilt and garrisoned the works 
anew, sought out the captains, and fitted together the parts of 
the rude machinery of government, we now entreat the reader 
to bear us company in our resume of the first and last attempt 
of an enemy to penetrate into the interior of Massachusetts. 



354 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTEK XVI. 

LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 

" 0, the old soldiers of the King and the King's Own regulars." 

Old Song. 

IF the British grenadier had not gone into a shop with his 
accoutrements on, or if the Province House groom had not 
been indiscreet, perhaps Gage would have succeeded in his plan 
of surprising the Americans, destroying the stores at Concord, 
and returning his troops with the prestige of a successful expe- 
dition. This would have made a capital despatch for the Min- 
istry, had the event not fallen out otherwise. North would 
have chuckled and Barre sulked, while Gage would have re- 
mained master of the situation. 

John Ballard was the hostler at the stables on the corner of 
Milk and old Marlborough Streets, to whom the groom imparted 
the intelligence that " there would be hell to pay to-morrow " ; 
but even he little thought how prophetic his language would 
become. Ballard was a liberty boy, but his informant did not 
suspect it. His hand trembled so much with excitement that 
he could hardly hold his curry-comb. Begging his friend to 
finish the horse he was cleaning, and feigning some forgotten 
errand, Ballard left the stable in haste. Not daring to go di- 
rectly to Bevere's house, he went to that of a well-known friend 
of liberty in Ann Street, who carried the news to Bevere. 

Bevere had concerted his signals ; Bobert Newman hung 
them in Christ Church steeple. The former crossed the river 
in his boat, mounted his horse, and the first part of Gage's plan 
dissolved with the morning mists. 

" And yet, through the gloom and the light, 
The fate of a nation was riding that night, , 
And the spark struck out by that steed in his flight 
Kindled the land into flame with its heat." 



LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 355 

It is time the idea should be buried out of sight that the ex- 
pedition to Lexington was a mere marauding foray upon a col- 
lection of unarmed, inoffensive peasants. It was not the fault 
of the British general that he was not met and resisted at every 
step from Lechmere's Point to Lexington Green, if, indeed, 
his troops had ever succeeded in reaching that place. It was 
not the fault of the Americans that they did not oppose his 
march with the greater part of the twelve thousand minute- 
men they were engaged in equipping for the field. They knew 
they were levying war, they knew the regulars were preparing 
to strike ; they were surprised, — that is all. 

Before the battle of Lexington, the Americans had twelve 
light field-pieces, with proper ammunition, for which they were 
organizing six companies of artillery, and had accumulated as 
many as eleven hundred tents, fifteen thousand canteens, with 
other camp equipage in proportion. We say nothing of the 
magazines of small-arms, brimstone, saltpetre, bullets, pro- 
visions, and medicines, which they were collecting in vast 
quantities. They had resolved five months before that the 
precise moment to begin hostilities was when the British 
marched into the country with their baggage, artillery, and 
ammunition. If General Gage had quietly permitted these 
preparations to go on, he would have deserved the appointment 
of generalissimo of the provincial forces. 

The provincials had undoubtedly received information that 
their stores were in danger, for, on the very day the troops left 
Boston, orders were given for the dispersion of their magazines 
among several towns. It is evident that a movement on Con- 
cord was apprehended. The leaders knew they were not quite 
ready for battle, and they labored under the disadvantage of ex- 
pecting the blow without knowing precisely where it was to 
fall. The secret had been well guarded ; so well that it is said 
Haldimand, Gage's second in command, did not know the 
troops had marched until the next morning. But this the 
reader may or may not believe ; for our own part we do not 
believe it. Nevertheless, General Gage had always the advan- 
tage of a movable force, ready to launch at any moment. 



Iii the Latter part of February, 1775, by order of General 
Gage, Captain Brown of the 5 2d, and Ensign Bernicre of the 
10th, went on a reconnoissance through Suffolk and Worcester 
Counties as far as the town of Worcester. Their mission was 
purely military, and seems to point to an intention entertained 
by the General to march into the interior in force. The officers 
were to observe the country as adapted to military operations, 
and were to take sketches of the streams, defiles, and any ob- 
stacles to be encountered by an army in a hostile country. 
They were disguised, and attempted to pass themselves off as 
surveyors, but were everywhere recognized, watched, and har- 
assed. In March the same officers were despatched on a similar 
errand to Concord. The British general was as well informed 
of the hostile preparations as, on their side, the provincials were 
that he was meditating a blow. Such was the situation of the 
parties on the 18th of April, 1775. 

Massachusettensis says Gage swore when he came to Boston, 
" I came to put the acts of the British Parliament in force, and 
by G — d I will do it." This declaration seems so clearly to 
ignore the other side of the question that we cannot help re- 
peating the remark of Dr. Franklin to the Britons, who com- 
plained to him of the scurvy treatment the king's troops had 
met with at Lexington, from the Yankees getting behind stone- 
walls and firing at them. The Doctor replied by asking them 
whether there were not two sides to the ivalls ! This anecdote 
was repeated with a good deal of unction on the battle-ground 
by Washington, when on his tour in 1789. The retort would 
have won for the philosopher in our time the now celebrated 
sobriquet of " Stonewall." 

It must have been after eleven o'clock when Colonel Francis 
Smith, of the 10th, with his eight hundred, landed at Lech-, 
mere's Point from the boats of the men-of-war. It was a fine 
moonlight night. The men were in light marching order, and 
took no rations. Smith called his officers around him and told 
them they were in no event to fire unless fired upon. The 
roads were all picketed by Gage's order the previous evening, 
and it is probable that if Eevere — who was by this time on 



LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 357 

his errand — had not fallen in with one of these patrols he 
would have ridden plump into the main body. The troops 
moved by old Charlestown Lane, now Milk Street, so that 
Revere's route intersected their line of march. Samuel Murray, 
a tory, and the son of a pestilent tory, was their guide. 

The morning was chilly, the way unfrequented, and not a 
sound came out of the gloom in which the cohort was en- 
shrouded, save, perhaps, the rattling of scabbards in unison 
with the measured tramp, or where some amphibious batrachian 
sent up a dismal croak from the stagnant pools. The gallant 
Welsh, the gay marines, and the gracious, well-bred officers, of 
the light companies must have felt their spirits not a little in- 
fected by their inglorious undertaking. Smith unconsciously 
held in his hand the wedge which was to split the British 
Empire in twain. 

The column moves on in silence past the old Davenport 
tavern, still standing at the corner of North Avenue and Beech 
Streets. Afar off the note of alarm had begun to sound with 
the awakening day. Revere had roused the Medford bands. 
Bells were beginning to ring out, and gunshots to explode on 
the morning air, as we have heard them many a time since in 
some country village at the return of this day. Smith halts ; 
the surprise has ended, and certes, we should say the soldiers' 
faces might brighten at the prospect. Pitcairn moves off with 
his six companies. An express goes back to the General for 
help. Then the word is " Forward ! " and the column presses 
on. It passes the last rendezvous of the Revolutionary Com- 
mittee at the Black Horse in Menotomy, now Arlington, and 
Elbridge Gerry, Orne, and Lee, escaping half dressed into the 
fields, throw themselves flat on their faces among the stubble. 
The watch-dogs bark, but the shutters of the houses in the vil- 
lage are kept close drawn, while eager eyes peer forth into the 
darkness. " Close your ranks ! " " Press on ! " are the oft-repeated 
commands. Beside the old Tufts' tavern the soldiers halt to 
slake their thirst at a well now filled up, but which was for- 
merly in the space between the tavern and the store. Men 
roused from sleep at the tread" of the British phalanx warily 



o58 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

look out into the morning's obscurity. They see the moonlit 
points of eight hundred bayonets glittering coldly above a mov- 
ing mass, which seems like the illusive images of a phantasma- 
goria. They count the platoons, then, seizing their muskets, 
take to the fields, where they meet their neighbors, all striving, 
with a common impulse, to get ahead of the regulars' column. 

It is a tradition in Arlington that the first person to give the 
alarm here was Cuff Cartwright, a negro slave, who lived at his 
master's on the road, not far from the pond. An officer gave 
the black a dollar to silence him, but as soon as the detach- 
ment had passed Cuffee struck across the fields and roused the 
neighborhood. 

In Smith's ranks were a number of young officers belonging 
to the fleet, who embraced the opportunity for a run ashore 
with all the enthusiasm and careless disregard of danger which 
characterizes the blue jacket the world over. Among them was 
Philip d'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillon, who was then a lieutenant 
on board the Asia, under Captain, afterwards Admiral, Yande- 
put, then lying in Boston harbor. On this day D'Auvergne nar- 
rowly escaped being made prisoner. He afterwards attended 
in the boats at Bunker Hill', and was in the expedition to Fal- 
mouth. It is worthy of remark that D'Auvergne and Nelson 
were the only two officers under age who were permitted to 
join the expedition to the Arctic in 1773 in the Carcass and 
Racehorse. 

The British officers were fond of riding out into the country, 
and under the pretext of parties of pleasure had picked up a 
good deal of knowledge of the roads and of the inhabitants. 
Pitcairn himself had been out on this business, as had also 
Samuel Graves, afterwards a British admiral. The Britons were 
fond of chaffing the countrymen, but were often unhorsed in a 
tilt of wits. It is related that one day a little knot of these 
officers were approaching Waltham, when they observed a 
countryman sowing what appeared to be grain. " Ho, fellow ! " 
says one of the officers, "you may sow, but we shall reap." 
" Waal," replied the native, " p'r'aps you will ; I 'm sowing 
hemp." The Britons pushed on a short distance, laughing at 



LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 359 

their own discomfiture, but soon returned and insisted that the 
Yankee should accompany them to the next tavern, where he 
drank as coolly as he had retorted at their expense, and re- 
turned to his labor. This anecdote has done duty in other 
connections. Owing to the celerity of the march and the 
success of his precautions, Smith's brigade arrived within a 
mile and a quarter of the Lexington parade-ground before the 
militia had any notice of their approach. 

It is daybreak. The " Foot of the Rocks," a mile above 
the centre of the village of Arlington, is reached and passed. 
Smith and Pitcairn debouch on the fatal plain of Lexington. 
They hear the rebel drum, and the word is passed to halt, 
prime, and load. The ground is littered where they stand with 
the cartridge-ends, while eight hundred nervous arms are for- 
cing the lead down into as many musket-barrels. Forward ! 
The leading companies wheel out of the road and into the 
Common, where they see Parker's minute-men drawn up at the 
north end of the Green, near the Bedford road. The armed 
forces of authority and of rebellion here meet for the first time 
face to face. A British volley pealed out the knell of British 
ascendency in the 'New World. 

Poor Pitcairn's memory has suffered all the obloquy of hav- 
ing given the order to fire. A thousand orators and writers 
have attacked his memory in manner and form from that day 
to this. Let us do him justice. There is not a reasonable 
doubt but that Smith, his superior, was present witb the van- 
guard. The announcement of danger required him to be there. 
The separate portions of the detachment could not have been 
widely apart, and Pitcairn's halt would have enabled the rear 
column to close. The depositions show Smith to have been 
with the advance ; his honor required it ; and it was not for 
sending a subordinate to the post of danger that George III. 
made Francis Smith his aide-de-camp. 

Mrs. Hannah Winthrop, the wife of Dr. Winthrop of Cam- 
bridge, has left her impressions of the scenes of horror and dis- 
may that took place when the news passed from house to house 
that the regulars were out. She could never forget, nor could 



oliO HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

time erase from, her mind, the terrors created by the midnight 
alarm, when the peaceful inhabitants were roused from their 
beds by beat of drum and clang of bells, with all the clamor, 
confusion, and dread which such an event could inspire, — the 
men hurriedly arming and hastening to the fray ; women la- 
menting and wringing their hands in despair ; children weep- 
ing and clinging to their parents ; while the very house-dogs 
howled with fright at the untoward sounds from the steeples. 

But all were not bereft of reason by the sudden summons to 
arms. We have glimpses of the fond wife, pale but resolute, 
girding up the loins of her warrior ere he sets out for the field of 
blood ; of the mother buckling on the son's sword with a linger- 
ing caress and benediction ; and of the aged sire taking down 
from its lodgement over the fireplace the old queen's arm he bore 
at Louisburg, which he now places in more youthful hands, and 
commends to eyes yet able to sight along the clouded barrel. 

"Ah ! then and there was hurrying to and fro, 
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress, 
And cheeks all pale which bat an hour ago 
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness." 

To comprehend the affair of the 19th of April, 1775, the 
situation of the buildings about the Common on that day must 
be understood. Approaching with the troops from the direc- 
tion of Cambridge, the roads separated as they now do, — that 
leading to Concord passing to the left, that to Bedford and 
Billerica diverging to the right. Within the triangular area 
formed by these roads was the Common, or Green, then unen- 
closed. Upon a little elevation near the apex or southerly 
extremity of the Green stood the old church, built in 1714, — a 
barn-like structure of three stories, with a pitched roof. The 
building had no proper belfry, but on a little structure placed 
a short distance north of the meeting-house was a bell-tower, 
from which pealed forth the alarm on the memorable morning. 
The church presented its side to the Concord road and its end 
to the Bedford road. It was taken down in 1794, and a new 
edifice with a tower erected near the spot. This building was 
destroyed by fire, and was then rebuilt where it now stands, at 



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LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 361 

the northwesterly corner of the Common. The flagstaff is now- 
placed not far from the site of the old meeting-house, but since 
the day when it stood here the southerly point of the Common 
has been somewhat elongated. An oak-tree or two stood about 
the meeting-house, and the Common itself was covered here and 
there with low brush. The little belfry stood on the site of 
the monument. It was removed to the old Parker farm, on 
the Waltham road, better known as the birthplace of Theodore 
Parker, whose ancestor, John Parker, commanded the company 
of minute-men fired upon by the regulars. 

On the right of the Bedford road and nearly opposite the old 
church was John Buckman's tavern, in which many of Parker's 
men assembled before the arrival of the troops, and which 
served as a refuge for some of the Americans afterwards. The 
fugitives fired upon the Britons from this house, and the shot- 
holes still seen in the clapboards attest that they drew the 
regulars' fire. Some of the British wounded were left here on 
the retreat. The old inn, now owned by the Meriam family, 
remains nearly as it was in 1775, and is the most conspicuous 
landmark of the battle-ground. The first post-office in the town 
was here located. Some Lombard y poplars that formerly stood 
about the building have now disappeared. The tavern, with its 
barn and outbuildings, and the meeting-house and belfry, are 
shown in our view of the Common. 

On the southwest side of the Concord road, and looking upon 
the Common, were two houses, at least one of which is still 
standing. On the north side of the Green were two dwellings, 
with a blacksmith's shop between. The one nearest the Bed- 
ford road was that of Jonathan Harrington, one of the vic- 
tims of the regulars' fire, whose wife witnessed his fall and the 
convulsive efforts made by him to reach her side. The other 
house, then that of Daniel Harrington, and still remaining in 
the Harrington family, is now there, looking, we should imagine, 
much as it did a hundred years ago. In front of it are some of 
the most magnificent specimens of our grand American elm to 
be seen far or near. Doolittle's picture of the battle-ground was 
drawn from this house. On the east of it was the well at 
16 



362 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



which the king's men quenched their thirst, and behind the 
house now occupied by the families of Harrington and Swan is 
still to be seen the quaint little blacksmith's shop with one of 
those ugly orifices in the door made by a leaden ball. This 
completes our view of Lexington Green in 1775. Except that 
the avenue on the north side was a mere lane, and that the 
space has been enlarged at the southern extremity, the place is 
topographically the same as on the day of the fight. 

The British main body marched up the Concord road and 
remained there while the attack took place. A body of grena- 
diers moved into the Common by the Bedford road, deploying 
in front of the Americans, who were paraded some four or five 
rods east of the monument and near the Bedford road. At the 
first alarm the minute-men assembled between the tavern and 
the meeting-house. 

Lexington Common, as we see it to-day, bears little resem- 
blance to the green where the 
first death- volley rattled in 1775. 
There is a triangular enclosure, 
bordered by a double row of 
elms, some of large growth, oth- 
ers of more recent planting. A 
fence, composed of stone posts 
with wooden rails, separates the 
ground from the highways which 
pass on either side. 

The battle-monument stands 
near the west corner of the enclo- 
sure, not far from the ground 
where the first victims were 
stretched in their blood, and at a 
dozen paces from the south side. 
It is placed on a little knoll, is surrounded by an iron fence, 
and has the front with the inscription facing south. It is enough 
to say of this monument, that its insignificant appearance, when 
compared with the object it is intended to perpetuate, can arouse 
no other than a feeling of disappointment in the mind of the 




LEXINGTON MONUMENT. 



LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 363 

pilgrim. The shaft is of granite, with a marble tablet bearing 
the following inscription, written by Rev. Jonas Clark of Lex- 
ington. Lafayette and Kossuth have both read it. 

"Sacred to the Liberty and the Rights of Mankind! ! I The 
Freedom and Independence of America — Sealed and defended 
with the blood of her sons — This Monument is erected by the In- 
habitants of Lexington, under the patronage and at the expense of 
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to the memory of their Fel- 
low-citizens, Ensign Robert Monroe, Messrs. Jonas Parker, Samuel 
Hadley, Jonathan Harrington, Junr., Isaac Muzzy, Caleb Harring- 
ton and John Brown, of Lexington, and Asahel Porter, of Woburn, 
who fell on this Field, the first victims of the Sword of British Tyr- 
anny and Oppression, on the morning of the ever-memorable Nine- 
teenth of April, An. Dom. 1775. The Die was Cast ! ! ! The blood 
of these Martyrs in the cause of God and their Country was the 
Cement of the Union of these States, then Colonies, and gave the 
Spring to the Spirit, Firmness and Resolution of their Fellow-citi- 
zens. They rose as one man to revenge their Brethren's blood, and 
at the point of the Sword to assert and defend their native Rights. 
They nobly dared to be Free ! ! ! The contest was long, bloody, and 
affecting. Righteous Heaven approved the Solemn Appeal ; Vic- 
tory crowned their Arms, and the Peace, Liberty, and Indepen- 
dence of the United States of America was their glorious Reward. 
Built in the year 1799." 

The bodies of the seven individuals belonging to Lexington 
were originally enclosed in long wooden boxes made of rough 
boards, and buried in one grave in a corner of the town bury- 
ing-ground, separate and distinct from all other graves. A few 
days prior to the celebration in 1835, the remains were disin- 
terred and placed in a wooden coffin enclosed in lead and made 
air-tight, the whole being then placed in a mahogany sar- 
cophagus. At the conclusion of the exercises on that occasion 
the sarcophagus was deposited in the tomb constructed near the 
base of the monument. When the bodies were exhumed the 
coffins were completely decayed. The bones were also more or 
less decayed. 

The people of Lexington, sensible of the impression whic'h the 
monument gives the beholder, have some time contemplated the 



364 historic fields and mansions of Middlesex. 

building of a new one on a more enlarged plan. This idea has, 
we believe, finally merged into that of placing appropriate me- 
morial statues in the Town Hall, two being already fixed there. 
They represent a soldier of 1775 and of 1861. When the va- 
cant niches shall be occupied by the proposed statues of Han- 
cock and Adams the design will be complete. The figures 
already in the hall are not without merit, but are placed in so 
obscure a light as to be seen to great disadvantage. We must 
say that it does not appear from this measure how the defects 
of the old monument, with its too lengthy inscription, are to be 
remedied. The memorials placed within four walls fail to in- 
culcate any moral lesson, and are completely shut out from the 
observation of the passer-by. The old monument, not being of 
itself a relic of the Eevolution, its materials might be included 
in a new structure more properly commemorative of the event. 
It stands just where it should, — on the spot where the tocsin 
first sounded " To arms ! " It should not be inferred that vis- 
itors are not admitted with all courtesy to view the statuary, 
but we should much like to see a shaft national in its character 
and worthy to illustrate one of History's most eventful pages, 
standing on the ancient parade. 

The troops, having finished their bloody work, and being 
joined by the rear column, re-form, give three huzzas for vic- 
tory, and push on for Concord. As, however fast they may 
march we shall be sure to overtake them, we desire the reader 
to accompany us to the old Clark house so called. 

What is now Hancock Street was the old Bedford road in 
1775. The parsonage was situated on the west side, a quarter 
of a mile distant from the old meeting-house. 

The house belongs certainly to two, and perhaps to three, 
periods. It is composed of a main building in the plain, sub- 
stantial style of the last century, and of a more antiquated 
structure standing at right angles with it. The first confronts 
yon if you have come down the road from the Common ; the 
last faces the street, from which the whole structure stands 
back a little distance, with a space of green turf between. A 
large willow is growing in front of the main house, and on the 



LECIIMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 365 

verge of the grass-plot stands an elm, its branches interlacing 
those of a fellow-tree on the other side the way, so as to form a 
triumphal arch under which no patriot should fail to pass. We 
have christened the twain Hancock and Adams. The one is 
sturdy, far reaching, and comprehensive ; the other, graceful, 
supple, but of lesser breadth. About the house flourish lilacs, 
syringas, and the common floral adjuncts of a New England 
home. 

In this house the afterwards proscribed fellow-patriots, Han- 
cock and Adams, were lodging at the time of the night march, 
of which one object was supj)Osed to be their arrest. They 
were advised by Gerry that the British officers were patrolling 
the road with some sinister design. A guard of the town's 
alarm-list was placed about the house, and when Revere rode 
up, " bloody with spurring," to warn the patriot leaders, he 
was requested not to make a noise for fear of waking them. 
" Noise ! " quoth our bluff mechanic, " you '11 have noise enough 
before long. The regulars are coming out ! " After some 
further parley with the Eev. Mr. ("lark, Hancock, who recog- 
nized his friend's voice, arose and bade him enter. William 
Dawes, the other messenger sent by Warren, arrived soon after. 
This was not long after midnight, and sleep, we may suppose, 
was banished the house for the remainder of the night. 

The room occupied by " king " Hancock and " citizen " 
Adams is the one on the lower floor on the left of the entrance. 
Care has been taken to preserve its original appearance. The 
woodwork, of Southern pine, has remained unpainted, acquiring 
witli ago a beautiful color. One side of the room is wainscoted 
up to the ceiling, the remaining walls bearing the original paper 
in large figures. The staircase in the front hall has also re- 
mained innocent of paint, and is handsome enough for a church. 
Age has given to the carved balusters and panelled casings a 
richness and depth of hue that scorns the application of any 
unnatural pigment. The room we have just left is in the south- 
west corner of the house. Passing to the opposite side of the 
hall, we enter the best room, which corresponds in finish with 
that just described, except that the painter's brush has been 
applied to the wainscot and newer paper to the Avails. 



366 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

In this apartment there is no manner of doubt Hancock 
courted " Dorothy Q.," while .his graver friend discussed state- 
craft with their reverend host, or, buried in thought, paced 
up and down the grass-plot by the roadside. Dorothy, the 
daughter of Judge Edmund Quincy of Braintree, was at this 
time living in the house under the protection of Madam Lydia 
Hancock, the governor's aunt. When turned of seventy she 
had a lithe, handsome figure, a pair of laughing eyes, fine yel- 
low ringlets in which scarcely a gray hair could be seen, and' 
although for the second time a widow, was as sprightly as a girl 
of sixteen. What her youth was the reader will be at no loss 
to infer. Charming, vivacious, and witty, with a little dash of 
the coquette withal, one might pardon Colonel Hancock, late 
of the Boston Cadets, for becoming her servant. 

Hancock had aspired to and obtained a military rank. He 
was a trifle of a dandy in his attire, particularly in his military 
garb, when his points, sword-knot, and lace were always of the 
newest fashion, and rivalled those of any of his Majesty's offi- 
cers. Gage revoked Hancock's commission, and the indignant 
corps disbanded, flinging — figuratively — the governor's stand- 
ard in his face, which made him as mad as a March hare. He 
is supposed to give his wrath utterance in verse : — 

" Your Colonel H k by neglect, 

Has been deficient in respect ; 

As he ray sov'reign toe ne'er kiss'd, 

'T was proper he should be dismissed ; 

I never was and never will 

By mortal man be treated ill ; 

I never was nor never can, 

Be treated ill by mortal man. 

O, had I but have known before 

The temper of your factious core, 

It should have been my greatest pleasure, 

To have prevented this bold measure. 

To meet with such severe disgrace, 

My standard flung into my face ! 

Disband yourselves ! — so cursed stout ? 

had I, had I, turn'd you out ! " 

On the 12th of June, 1775, Governor Gage by proclamation 



LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 367 

exempted Hancock and Adams from his offer of a general par- 
don, and declared all persons who might give them aid or shel- 
ter rebels and traitors. Copies of this document were posted in 
all the public places, and left with every householder in the 
town of Boston. This being as far as the authority of the royal 
governor extended, the objects of his paper decree were never 
in any apprehension of their personal safety. Outlawry by the 
king's government was to make them the two most conspicuous 
figures in the Colonies, and the selection of Hancock to preside 
over the Continental Congress partook largely of an act of 
bravado. Trumbull's burlesque of Gage's proclamation, which 
appeared in June, 1775, evidently formed the germ of his hu- 
morous epic of MacFingal. 

Hancock's martial pride, coupled, perhaps, with the feeling 
that he must show himself, in the presence of his lady love, a 
soldier worthy of her favor, inclined him to show fight when 
the regulars were expected. His widow related that it was 
with great difficulty that herself and the colonel's aunt kept 
him from facing the British on that day. While the bell on 
the Green was sounding the alarm, Hancock was cleaning his 
sword and fusee, and putting his accoutrements in order ; but 
at length the importunities of the ladies and the urgency of 
other friends prevailed, and he retired with Adams to a place 
of concealment. The astute Adams, it is recounted, a little 
annoyed perhaps at his friend's obstinacy, clapped him on the 
shoulder, and exclaimed, looking significantly at the weapons, 
" That is not our business ; we belong to the cabinet." It will 
now be easily understood by the reader why Hancock, who was 
also a relative of Bev. Mr. Clark, chose to come so far from 
Concord, where the Congress was sitting, to lodge. 

The patriots first repaired to the hill, then wooded, southeast 
of Mr. Clark's, where they remained until the troops passed on 
to Concord. They were afterwards conducted to the house of 
Madam Jones, w r idow of Bev. Thomas Jones, and Bev. Mr. 
Marrett, in Burlington. From here, upon a new alarm, they 
retired to Mr. Amos Wyman's, in Billerica, leaving an elegant 
repast, to which they had just sat down, untasted. Bevere, 



368 HISTOKIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

after his misadventure on the road to Concord, rejoined the 
patriots, as did also Madam Hancock and her niece. 

It was while walking in the fields after hearing the firing 
that Adams made the observation, " It is a fine day." "Very 
pleasant," replied one of his companions, supposing him to 
mean the glories of the dawning day. " I mean," said the 
patriot seer, " this day is a glorious day for America." The 
veil was lifted, and perhaps he alone saw the end of which this 
was the beginning. During the firing random shots whizzed 
past the house he had quitted, and some of the wounded Amer- 
icans were brought into it to have their hurts cared for. The 
whole affair on the Common was visible from this spot. 

The house in which we have been loitering was built by 
Thomas Hancock, the Boston merchant of whom we have 
already had occasion to speak. He was not born until 1703, 
served his time with Henchman, the stationer, and had not 
acquired wealth until a much later period ; so that we suppose 
the building to have been erected, about 1740, and not earlier, 
as has been stated by some. Thomas Hancock did not build 
his own princely mansion in Boston until 1737. He was the 
son of the old Bishop Hancock, as he was called, who was or- 
dained in 1698 over a society which then inhabited this part 
of Cambridge, called " the farms." The merchant, as soon as 
his position enabled him to do it, doubtless looked to the more 
convenient housing of his honored parent, who received his 
name of bishop on account of his great influence among the 
ministers. Lexington was incorporated in 1712. 

The best room communicates with the ancient or original 
house, which is seen fronting the street with its single story 
and picturesque dormer windows and roof. This part was 
doubtless built by the bishop's parishioners soon after his settle- 
ment. It formerly stood nearer the high-road until the new 
building was completed, when it was moved back and joined 
upon it. The house is a veritable curiosity, and would not 
make a bad depository for the household furniture and utensils 
of the period to which it belongs, being of itself so unique a 
specimen of early New England architecture. The floors and 



LECHMERE'S POINT TO LEXINGTON. 369 

wainscot are of hard wood, upon which time has left not the 
least evidence of decay. The farmers clearly meant their min- 
ister to inhabit a house of a better sort than their own, as is 
apparent in the curious panelling of the outer door, which still 
retains its original fastenings, and in the folding shutters of the 
little study at the back. A cramped and narrow staircase con- 
ducts to the chambers above, from the room in which we are 
standing. The same old dresser is attached to the wall, gar- 
nished of yore by the wooden trenchers and scanty blue china 
of the good • bishop's housekeeping. Some old three-legged 
tables are the only other relics of the former inhabitants. This 
one room, according to the custom of the times, served as 
kitchen, dining-room, and for the usual avocations of the family. 
The little study has the narrow windows which first admitted 
light upon the ponderous folios of the minister or the half-writ- 
ten sheets of many a weighty sermon. And perhaps he listened 
here to the tale of domestic wrong wrung in bitterness from 
some aching heart, or wrestled in prayer with an awakening 
but still struggling spirit. We see him in the common apart- 
ment performing the marriage rite for some rustic swain and his 
bride, or reading aloud the news from the metropolis, which he 
alone of all the village receives. Teacher, guide, parent, and 
friend, the clergyman of the olden time feared not to preach a 
political sermon or lay bare the abuses of society. In general, 
if something severe, he kept himself above reproach in his pri- 
vate life. He was steadfast, never confounding his flock with 
a sadden change of doctrine. These were the men who laid 
line and plummet to the foundation-stone of New England 
society, and we yield them the respect their teachings have 
gained for her sons. 

On the day of the battle the clergymen followed their parish- 
ioners to the field, with the town stores of ammunition, which 
they busied themselves in distributing from their chaises. On 
the Sunday ensuing those who had taken part in the fray stood 
up in the aisles of the churches, — many with bullet-holes in 
their garments, — while thanks were publicly offered for their 
safe return. The country was all on fire. The young men 
16* x 



370 HISTOEIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

hastened to array themselves for the war that was seen to be 
inevitable. " Arms ! " was the cry, " give us arms ! " Hearken 
to one young, ardent spirit : " I would not be without a gun if 
it costs me five guineas, as I shall be called a tory or something 
worse if I am without one. Pray don't fail of sending me a 
gun ! a gun ! a gun and bayonet ; by all means a gun ! a gun ! " 

At the celebration in 1783 Hancock, then governor, was 
present, again sojourning at Mr. Clark's. At the appointed 
time Captain Munroe appeared with his company, and escorted 
his Excellency to the meeting-house, where Eev. Mr. Adams of 
Lunenburgh preached the anniversary sermon. Cannon were 
fired, and the United States flag hoisted at sunrise over Cap- 
tain Brown's, and near the spot where the militia were slain. 
The Eev. Mr. Clark has recounted the events of the day, which 
he witnessed in part from his own house. 

The old burial-ground of Lexington is so secluded that the 
stranger might pass it without suspecting its vicinity, if some 
friendly hand did not guide him to the spot. It lies back of 
the Unitarian Church, and is reached by a little avenue from 
the street. We looked for the older graves here with the same 
ill success which has befallen in many similar places. The 
" forefathers of the hamlet " have scarcely left their traces upon 
the stones. There is a handsome marble monument over the 
remains of Governor Eustis, erected by his widow, the daughter 
of Hon. Woodbury Langdon of Portsmouth. She lived to the 
great age of eighty-four, and now reposes by the side of her 
husband. The stone for the governor's monument was quarried 
in the Berkshire Hills. 

The noise which the battle of Lexington made reached Eng- 
land. A subscription was raised in London and forwarded for 
the relief of the widows and orphans of those who fell here and 
all along the blood-stained road. Walpole deplored it in a let- 
ter to Sir Horace Mann, and Eogers, the poet's father, put on 
mourning. The fatal news was carried from Salem to England 
by Eichard Derby, reaching there May 29. 



LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 371 



CHAPTER XVII. 

LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 

" Why, our battalia trebles that account ; 
Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength, 
Which they upon the adverse faction want." 

Shakespeare. 

IT would be difficult to imagine a more beautiful Indian 
summer's day than that on which we marched from Lexing- 
ton to Concord with the ghosts of Colonel Smith's command. ' 
A heavy frost still incrusted the grasses and shrubbery by the 
wayside, but the energetic rays of the sun speedily transformed 
the beautiful crystal masses into commonplace grass and shrub. 
Some respectable hills, now made more passable by nearly a 
hundred years' labor of the sturdy tax-payers of old Middle- 
sex, must have tried the sinews of the king's troops, already 
wearied with their ten miles of hurried tramp from Lechmere's 
Point. They may have paused, as we did, on the summit of the 
highest of these, to breathe awhile and glance at the glistening 
white tower of Bedford Church, before descending into the 
plain of Concord. 

The road over which the troops marched and retreated is in 
some places disused, except for the accommodation of the neigh- 
boring farm-houses. Fiske's Hill, a high eminence a mile and 
a third from Lexington, is now avoided altogether. Another 
segment of the old highway, grass-grown and roughened by the 
washings of many winters, enters the main road at an abandoned 
lime-kiln, before you reach the Brooks tavern. In this vicinity 
one of the severest actions of the 19th Of April was fought. 

It was in the days of the epizootic, and the highway was as 
deserted as could have been desired for our purpose. Proceeding 
onward, a farm-house almost always in view, there seemed a 



372 HISTORIC' FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

sort of fascination in the old, moss-grown, tumble-down stone- 
walls. No great stretch of imagination was necessary to con- 
vert them into the ramparts of a century ago, behind which the 
rustic warriors crouched and levelled the deadly tubes. 

A grand old elm standing sentinel at the entrance of the 
town may have murmured a challenge to the advancing war, or 
waved back the scarlet array with its then youthful arms. But 
the goal was almost reached. The officers tighten their sword- 
belts ; the men fasten their gaiters and fix their grenadier caps 
more firmly. Onward ! 

The high hill around which the road winds as it enters 
Concord is the position from which the Americans viewed the 
approach of the regulars, and which was immediately occupied 
by a British detachment. By his spies Smith knew the places 
where the munitions were deposited. The bands disperse to 
their allotted work. 

Concord is one of those places which, not having any scenic 
features sufficiently marked to arrest the tourist, has yet found 
— and this apart from its battle reminiscences — a group of 
writers who have made it one of exceeding and wide-spread 
attractiveness, so that no town in New England, we will ven- 
ture to say, is so well known to the world in general. And 
this, as in the play which but for the excellent acting would 
be doomed to fatal mediocrity, is what Emerson, Hawthorne, 
Channing, Thoreau, Alcott, pere and fille, with others unnamed, 
have done for quiet, inland Concord. Nature knew it in the 
commonplace pastoral sense. War left the print of her bloody 
hand there. Man's intellect has breathed upon it, and clothed 
it with such beauty that we seem to see gems sparkling in the 
drifts of gravel, nuggets among the river's sands, and feel an 
uncontrollable desire to view for ourselves all those objects by 
which our interest has been fixed while regarding the picture 
from a distance. And a closer acquaintance confirms our pre- 
possession. 

At the very entrance of the town, but at the distance of about 
a mile from the public square, are several dwellings consecrated 
by pleasant memories. The hill itself, a brave old headland, 



LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 373 

throws its protecting arm around the northern and eastern sec- 
tion of the settled portion of Concord. Were a second invasion 
of the place ever again to occur, a few pieces of cannon posted 
here would, with the possession of some outlying hills, effectu- 
ally command the approaches and the town itself. The hill-top 
forms a generally level plateau, sinking gradually away near 
the northerly extremity of the public square, where a section 
of it has been removed to place in orderly array some handsome 
buildings. Following the base of the hill through the town, 
with your face to the north, you arrive at the site of the old 
North Bridge, of which hereafter. Upon the summit and 
slopes of this eminence is the ancient burial-place, considered 
by many the oldest in Concord. Here you may command a 
superb view of the town at your feet ; of Concord Eiver, with 
its fertile meadows ; and of the hills which rise and stretch 
away along the northwest, where the Americans rallied after 
retreating from the town, and gathered strength for their onset. 
In this same hillside the first settlers burrowed in caves ; and 
we are left not only to wonder at their endurance, but to mar- 
vel at the patience and humility with which they recount their 
privations. The hill was the key to Concord in 1775, and the 
British seized and held it until they evacuated the place. 

The yellowish-brown house, with its pointed gables and its 
square tower between, is that in which Hawthorne lived after 
his return from his English consulate. The house itself is al- 
most hid from view among the masses of evergreen by which 
it is surrounded. For some distance a cool walk skirts the 
street, — a row of thickly-set larches next the road, with an 
inner rank of firs or spruces. These trees were set out by 
Hawthorne. Back of the house, and dominating above it, the 
hill ascends in terraces, but so densely is it covered with ever- 
green-trees, planted by Alcott when he lived here, as to resem- 
ble nothing more than a young forest of native growth. The 
character of the trees which Hawthorne chose to have about 
him conveys the idea that he loved their constant verdure and 
balmy breath, if, indeed, he was not susceptible to the subtle 
and saddening influence of the bared and wintry arms of the 
statelier woodland varieties. 



374 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Partly ancient and in part modern, trie novelist's dwelling 
has little or nothing peculiar to itself except the before-men- 
tioned tower, which he built in defiance of architectural rules 
on the top of the house. Towards the road, this retreat over- 
looked a broad reach of sloping meadow in the highest state of 
tillage. Hill and dale, stream and pool, with all those concom- 
itants of New England landscape which the artist so well knew 
how to weave into his pen-pictures, are here in the charming 
prospect. From the back window appeared the dark masses of 
evergreens with their needles glistening in the sun. As we 
looked out of the little study, we could not believe pagan ever 
worshipped fire more than Hawthorne loved nature. 

We are told that the astrologers of old always pursued their 
studies of the heavens from some lofty castle-turret, whither 
the would-be questioner of Fate was conducted, bewildered by 
long, winding staircases, to find himself at last in the wizard's 
cabinet, confronted by all his unearthly and startling parapher- 
nalia. A corner of the arras is lifted, and the man of destiny 
appears. 

Ascending to Hawthorne's watch-tower of genius, the eye is 
first arrested by two cupboards of stained wood, standing on 
either side of the single window with which the rear wall is 
furnished. These, closets are each decorated with a motto in 
white paint, as follows : " All care abandon ye that enter here " ; 
"There is no joy but calm." Above the window is the one 
word, " Olympus." This, then, thought we, is the abode of 
the gods, — the summit sung by Homer and the poets. En- 
closing the stairs is a pine box with such a movable shelf as is 
sometimes seen in a country school-house, appropriated to the 
village pedagogue. This was Hawthorne's desk, at which he 
is said to have written " Septimius Eelton," the last of his works. 
Perched upon a high stool, with his back to the landscape, and 
his face resolutely turned towards his blank wall of stained deal, 
we may picture the sorcerer, with massive, careworn brow and 
features of the true Puritan stamp, tracing the horoscope of his 
fieshless creations. The house having now become a boarding- 
school for young ladies, kept by Miss Pratt, the study is appro- 



LEXINGTON TO CONCOED. 375 

priated as a sleeping-apartment for school-girls, whose dreams 
are not disturbed by its former celestial occupants. 

Franklin Pierce, the college chum of Hawthorne at Bowdoin, 
came here to visit his old friend, whom he had given a highly 
lucrative appointment abroad. The " Scarlet Letter " was pro- 
duced while Hawthorne was surveyor of the port of Salem 
under General Miller, the old hero of Lundy's Lane. With 
his intimates, in the days of his custom-house experience, — 
and they were confined to a chosen few, — he was less taciturn 
than he afterwards became. But even among these he often 
appeared absent, gloomy, and misanthropical, as if some disap- 
pointment weighed upon him and had despoiled him of his 
young manhood. 

Our author is one of those figures best contemplated from 
a distant stand-point, as some tall peak, lifting itself above 
its lesser companions from afar, sinks into the general mass at 
a nearer approach, giving no token of the subterranean fires 
that glow within its foundations. We know him better by his 
works than by actual contact with himself, but we have not had 
in America a mind of so antique a stamp as his, even if his 
imaginings are something weird, and his characters partake 
largely of the attributes of spectres who walk the earth because 
the master wills it. 

Some of Hawthorne's productions, when a lad of fourteen, 
and thought to be authentic, have lately come to light. It ap- 
pears that his literary tastes were first stimulated by an uncle, 
the brother of his mother, who resided at Eaymond, Maine, 
whither Mrs. Hawthorne had removed after her husband's 
death, at Havana, of yellow-fever. These early effusions, which 
are descriptive of some of the events of his life in Maine, do 
not exhibit any of those flashes of genius for which the man 
was famous, although excellent pieces of composition for a youth 
in his teens. Hawthorne there speaks of the spur which his 
Uncle Richard's praises gave him. 

Hawthorne's intellect was too fine for the multitude. His 
plane did not conduct to the popular heart. His writings teem 
with sombre tints, and oftenest lead to a tragic termination ; 



376 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

but liis fancies are always striking and his descriptions often 
marvellous. He seemed to walk apart, in an atmosphere of his 
own, seldom, if ever, giving note of what was within. Burns 
was an exciseman, and Hawthorne a gauger. Eoth were given 
to convivial indulgence, but the Scotsman's mood was in gen- 
eral less gloomy than the American's. 

Adjoining Hawthorne's are the house and grounds of A. 
Bronson Alcott. Curtis has indulged in some quiet pleasantry 
at the expense of the practical cast of the philosopher's mind as 
applied to rural architecture, but for our own part, after having 
trampled half New England under foot, we can commend the 
taste which Alcott has applied to the restoration of his dwelling. 
Not so, however, with the rustic fence which separates his do- 
main from the road. It appears to have been composed of the 
relics of sylvan surgery, the pieces being selected with reference 
to knobs, fungi, and excrescences. This is not what we should 
call putting one's best foot foremost by any means. Who likes 
to think of a Dryad with a wart on her nose, or a woodland 
nymph with a hump 1 

Apropos of trees, they bear their ills as well as poor human- 
ity. Go into the forest and see how many are erect and robust 
and how many bent and sickly. One in a hundred, perhaps, 
is a perfect specimen, the remaining ninety and nine are subject 
to some blemish. Nevertheless we do not advocate the collec- 
tion of the diseased members by the wayside. 

Alcott has been, and still is, a pattern of industry. He is one 
of the few men who have kept a daily journal of passing events, 
in itself a work of no small labor and value. A walking ency- 
clopaedia, he is frequently consulted for a date or an incident. 
" I wish," said Webster, " I had kept a record of my life." 
And who does not echo the wish 1 

When Alcott was keeping school at Cheshire, in Connecticut, 
the fame of his original plan of instruction came to the knowl- 
edge of the late Samuel J. May, who invited him to visit him, 
in order to know more of the man whom he felt assured must 
be a genius. The result of this visit was an attachment be- 
tween Mr. Alcott and Mr. May's sister, Abigail, which led to 
their marriage in 1830. Says Mr. May : — 



LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 377 

" I have never, but in one other instance, been so completely taken 
possession of by any man I have ever met in life. He seemed to me 
like a born sage and saint. He was radical in all matters of reform ; 
went to the root of all things, especially the subjects of education, 
mental and moral culture. If his biography shall ever be written 
by one who can appreciate him, and especially if his voluminous 
writings shall be properly published, it will be known how unique 
he was in wisdom and purity." 

It is well known that Alcott was among the little band of 
antislavery reformers, or agitators, as they were called twenty 
odd years ago. So deeply was he impressed with the wicked- 
ness of supporting a government which recognized slavery, that 
he refused to pay his poll-tax. As a consequence, one clay an 
officer came with a warrant; and arrested the philosopher. His 
loving wife soon packed a little tin pail of provisions, adapted 
to the wants of a vegetarian in seclusion, with which Alcott 
contentedly trudged off to jail. Arrived here, the officer de- 
livered his prisoner up, but the person in charge, astonished to 
see Alcott there, invited him to sit down in the waiting-room 
until his cell could be made ready. Word was then sent to one 
of Alcott's friends, said to be Samuel Hoar, who came forward 
and paid the tax. Whereat Alcott waxed indignant, for he 
was as anxious to get into jail as most men would be to get out 
of it. He stood on high moral, if not financial grounds, and 
had no idea of rendering unto Caesar the sinews of evil. So 
the example was lost, the wheels of government moved on un- 
clogged, and Alcott mournfully returned to his home. 

At the time of this episode the idea of communities was a fa- 
vorite project with the transcendentalists. Brook Farm did not 
go far enough for philosophers of the ultra school, like Emerson 
and Alcott. They carried individualism to the point which per- 
mits the citizen to choose, absolutely, the form of government 
under which he shall live. They refused animal food, agreed by 
tacit league and covenant not to make use of the products of 
slavery or pay taxes, and believed they could get along without 
money. The experiment at Harvard resulted, and was in less 
than a year abandoned by its projectors, who may, nevertheless, 



ot 



8 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



claim the merit of having put their design into actual execution 
while others have only dreamed and talked. 

Alcott, with the other reformers, has realized that society is 
not to be improved by seceding from it. He and they are now 
at work within the hive, talking, writing, printing, and making 
use of the appliances they were once so ready to surrender. 
Alcott is above six feet, and but little bent, although he has 
exceeded his threescore and ten. His silver hairs and dignified 
appearance render him an object of respectful curiosity, whom 
few pass without turning for a second glance at his tall figure. 
He speaks with earnestness and simplicity, conveying the idea 
of a man thoroughly honest in his convictions, pure in his 
motives, and faithful in his friendships. 

Alcott inhabits an old house, which he has made very com- 
fortable without destroying its distinctive antique character. 
His grounds reach back into the hillside, which here seems in- 
dented on purpose for a romantic little dell. The authoress of 
" Little Women " has, we are told, christened the place " Apple 
Slump," wherefore, .reader, demand of the sibyl, not of us. 
Two patriarchal elms, with rustic seats at the foot, are the 
guardians of Alcott's home, — just such a one in which you 
would look for an honest, hearty welcome, and find it. 

One of Mr. Alcott's daughters, Louisa May, has made a broad 
and strong mark with her pen. The world knows from her 
that there are old-fashioned girls with hearts and brains, and 
little women with great souls. Another daughter, May Alcott, 
has taken up the pencil with much promise. The young ar- 
tist's little nook of a studio, to which we were admitted, had 
been transformed by household exigencies into purposes rather 
grosser than those of art, but by no means to be despised on 
that account. Some of her sketches on the walls and a glance 
into her portfolio reveal talent and industry, either of which may 
deserve, while both together are certain to command, success. 

At the intersection of the Lexington with the old Boston 
road is Ralph Waldo Emerson's dwelling, built in 1828 by 
Charles Coolidge, grandson of Joseph Coolidge, one of the mag- 
nates of the West End of Old Boston, where he had a fine 



LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 379 

estate. It is a coincidence which led Samuel Parkman, another 
old-time resident of Bowdoin Square in that town, to inhabit 
the ancient rough-cast house which stands somewhat farther on 
by the burying-ground. The Coolidge house passed into Mr. 
Emerson's possession in 1835. It is a plain, square building, 
painted a light color, which you would pass without notice un- 
less apprised of its distinguished occupant. By some accident 
the house was badly injured by fire, but has, during Mr. Emer- 
son's late absence in Europe, been skilfully restored to its for- 
mer appearance. 

In the grove of pines which stands at the extremity of Mr. 
Emerson's grounds, Alcott erected with his own hands the 
summer-house which Curtis says was not technically based and 
pointed, but which he still speaks of with evident pride. As 
no vestiges of it now remain, we infer that it fulfilled the 
adverse destiny predicted for it. 

There is amusement and instruction in the story of how, at 
Emerson's suggestion, Hawthorne, Alcott, Thoreau, and Curtis 
met at his house for mutual interchange of ideas. The plan 
was excellent, the failure complete. The elements for spark- 
ling wit or brilliant thought were there, but the combination 
would not take place. In vain Emerson, with his keen and 
polished lance, struck the shield of each with its point. Only 
a dull thud resulted, instead of the expected coruscation. Haw- 
thorne was mute, while the rest struggled manfully but in vain 
to produce the ethereal spark. Three Mondays finished the club. 

Some of Mr. Emerson's pupils, when he kept school in the 
old house at Cambridge, are now white-haired men, who recall 
with a smile how, for discipline's sake, they were sometimes 
sent into the Widow Emerson's room to study. As a teacher 
he was mild and gentle, leaving agreeable impressions on the 
minds of his scholars. The school was in Brattle Street, oppo- 
site the Brattle House. 

Thoreau, the hermit-naturalist, lived in a house built by him- 
self in 1845 on the shore of Walden Pond, his literary friends 
helping him one afternoon to raise it. It is said he never went 
to church, never voted, and never paid a tax in the State ; for 



380 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

which contempt of the tax-gatherer lie passed at least one night 
in jail. It is evident from his writings that Thoreau gloried 
in Nature, and that his soul expanded while he communed with 
her. She was his meat and drink. He craved no other society, 
putting to flight in his own person the crystallized idea that 
man is a gregarious animal. He calls upon hill and stream as 
if they would reply, and in truth the Book of Nature was never 
shut to him. A revival of interest in the character of Thoreau 
is manifest, an interest which no man is better able to satisfy 
than his friend Channing. 

George William Curtis was for a time a resident of Concord, 
and Lieutenant Derby, better remembered as " John Phoenix," 
beyond comparison the keenest of our American humorists, it is 
said some time' tended a shop here. Frederick Hudson, author 
of " Journalism in America," is also an inhabitant of this town. 

Concord, on the day of invasion in 1775, although a place 
of considerable importance, contained but few houses scattered 
over a wide area. The old meeting-house, similar in appear- 
ance to the one at Lexington, stood in its present position. 
A square building at the corner of Main Street and the Com- 
mon, was then known as "Wright's Tavern, and was the alarm- 
post of the provincials. This house alone, of those standing 
along this side of the Square at that time, is still remaining. 
On the opposite corner of Main Street, where is now the Mid- 
dlesex Hotel, was Dr. Minott's residence. Between this and 
the engine-house, on ground now lying between the latter and 
the priest's house (formerly known as the county house), was 
the old court-house, built in 1719, a square building with little 
old-fashioned belfry, steeple, and weather-vane, bearing the date 
of 1673. The northerly end of the public square was occupied 
by the residence of Colonel Shattuck, which, with some altera- 
tion, is still on the same spot. This brings us to the point of 
the hill, previously described, around which the road wound to 
the river, which it passed by the North Bridge. At this point, 
where the road diverges from the Square, Mr. Keyes's house 
formerly stood. Since 1794 the court-house has occupied the 
side of the Square opposite its old location, while the jail was 



LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 381 

removed from its situation on Main Street to its late site in the 
rear of and between the Middlesex Hotel and the priest's. The 
house described as Minott's became, after the war, a tavern 
kept by John Eichardson of Newton. At no great distance 
from the soldiers' monument stands a magnificent elm, which 
once served as the whipping-post to which culprits were tied up. 

Main Street, which we now propose to follow a certain dis- 
tance, conducted towards the South Bridge which crossed the 
river by Hosmer's. In 1775 it was merely a causeway leading 
to the grist-mill which then stood on the spot now occupied by 
Mr. Collyer, next the Bank and opposite Walden Street. A 
few steps farther and you reach the second of the burial- 
places in the town, in which lie the remains of gallant John 
Buttrick, who gave the order to fire on the British at the North 
Bridge, in the memorable words, "Tire, fellow-soldiers, for 
God's sake, fire ! " Beyond the burying-ground was the second 
situation of the jail built here in 1 770. It was a wooden build- 
ing with gambrel roof, standing on the estate of Mr. Eeuben 
Eice. On the same estate was the old tavern formerly known as. 
Hartwell Bigelow's. Prior to the erection of the first jail in ; 
1754, prisoners were confined in Cambridge and Charlestown. 
Concord, having ceased to be one of the shire towns of Middle- 
sex, now contains neither jail nor malefactors. 

In 1775 the tavern mentioned as Bigelow's was kept by 
Captain Ephraim Jones, who had also charge of the jail. Gen- 
eral Gage wrote home to England that the people of Concord 
were "sulky" while his troops were breaking open their houses, 
flinging their property into the mill-pond, and killing their 
friends and neighbors ! Of what stuff the inhabitants of Con- 
cord were made in the estimation of the king's officer we are 
unable to conjecture, but we have his word for it that they 
were " sulky, and one of them even struck Major Pitcairn." 
Ephraim Jones was the man. He should have a monument for 
the blow. 

Pitcairn went straight to Jones's tavern, where he had often 
lodged, sometimes in disguise. This time he found the door 
shut and fastened. As Jones refused to open, Pitcairn ordered 



382 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

his grenadiers to break down the door, and, being the first to 
enter, rushed against Jones with such violence as to overthrow 
the unlucky innkeeper, who was put under guard in his own 
bar, while Pitcairn, with a pistol at his breast, commanded him 
to divulge the places where the stores were concealed. The 
crestfallen Boniface led the way to the prison, where the British 
were surprised to find three 24-pounders in the yard, completely 
furnished with everything necessary for mounting. The Major 
destroyed the carriages, knocked off the trunnions of the guns ; 
and then, feeling his usual good-humor return with certain 
gnawings of his stomach, retraced his steps to the tavern and 
demanded breakfast, of which he ate heartily and for which he 
paid exactly. Jones resumed his rdle of innkeeper, and found 
his revenge in the transfer of many silver shillings bearing 
King George's effigy from the breeches pockets of the king's 
men to his own greasy till. 

The jail is also connected with another incident of interest. 
A battalion of the 71st Highlanders, which had sailed from 
Glasgow in the George and Annabella transports, entered Bos- 
ton Bay, after a passage of seven weeks, during which they had 
not spoken a single vessel to apprise them of the evacuation. 
They were attacked in the bay by privateers, which they beat 
off after being engaged from morning until evening. The trans- 
ports then boldly entered Nantasket Boad, where one of our 
batteries gave them the first intimation that the port was in 
possession of the Americans. After a gallant resistance the ves- 
sels were forced to strike their colors. The Highlanders, under 
the orders of their lieutenant-colonel, Archibald Campbell, 
fought with intrepidity, losing their major, Menzies, and seven 
privates killed, besides seventeen wounded. Menzies was buried 
in Boston with the honors of war, and Campbell sent a prisoner 
to Beading, while the men were distributed among the interior 
towns for safety. 

This regiment, raised at the commencement of the American 
war, was one of the most famous levied among the Highland 
clans. It was composed of two battalions, each twelve hundred 
strong, and was commanded by Simon Braser, the son of that 



LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 383 

Lord Lovat who had been beheaded in 1747 for supporting the 
Pretender's cause. Each battalion was completely officered, and 
commanded by a colonel. Another Simon Fraser was colonel 
of the second battalion, — the same of which the larger number 
were captured in Boston Bay. 

There was a great desire to enlist in this new regiment, more 
men offering than could be accepted. One company of one 
hundred and twenty men had been raised on the forfeited estate 
of Cameron of Lochiel, which he was to command. Lochiel 
was ill in London, and unable to join. His men refused to 
embark without him, but after being addressed with persuasive 
eloquence, in Gaelic, by General Fraser, they returned to their 
duty. While their commander was speaking, an old High- 
lander, who had accompanied his son to Glasgow, was leaning 
on his staff, gazing at the General with great earnestness. When 
he had finished the old man walked up to him and said, famil- 
iarly, " Simon, you are a good fellow, and speak like a man. 
As long as you live Simon of Lovat will never die." 

When Sir William Howe refused to exchange General Lee, 
— and it was reported he had been placed in close confinement, 
-7- Congress ordered a retaliation in kind. Campbell, one of the 
victims, was brought to Concord, and lodged in the jail of 
which we are writing. His treatment was unnecessarily severe, 
the authorities placing the most literal construction upon the 
orders they received. He complained in a dignified and manly 
letter to Sir William, with a description of his loathsome prison. 
By Washington's order his condition was mitigated, and he was 
afterwards exchanged for Ethan Allen. In the Southern cam- 
paign he fought us with great bravery, and lived to be a British 
major-general. 

But to resume our topography. Main Street was also for- 
merly the old Boston and Harvard road, which left the Com- 
mon by the cross-way entering Walden Street, opposite the old 
Heywood tavern, now the property of Cyrus Stow. Within 
the space between this cross-way and Main Street and Walden 
Street and the Common was the mill-pond which played so 
important a part in the transactions of the 19th of April, but 



384 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

the existence of which would not be suspected by the stranger. 
The mill-pond has, in fact, disappeared along with the dam, — 
the little brook to which it owed its existence now finding its 
way underground, and flowing onward unvexed to Concord 
Eiver. We ask the reader to circumnavigate with us the old 
mill-pond. 

Pursuing our way along the south side of Walden Street, we 
soon come to what is called the "Hubbard Improvement," a 
large tract through which a broad avenue has been opened. 
Upon this land, where the cellar and well are still to be seen, 
was once a very ancient dwelling, known as the Hubbard House. 
It had a long pitched roof, which stopped but little short of the 
ground, and from which projected two chimneys, both stanch 
and strong. The old well-sweep, now an unaccustomed object in 
our larger towns, had done unwilling service for the king's men 
in '75, creaking and groaning as it drew the crystal draughts 
from the cool depths. The house had been visited by these 
same redcoats, and its larder laid under severe contribution. 

A little farther on was the dwelling and corn-house of Cap- 
tain Timothy Wheeler, the miller, whose successful mse-de-guerre 
saved a large portion of the Colony flour, stored along with his 
own. The story has often been told, but will bear repetition. 

When the troops appeared at his door, he received them in a 
friendly mannerj inviting them in, and telling them he was glad 
to see them. He then asked them to sit down, and eat some 
bread and cheese, and drink some cider, which they did not 
hesitate to do. After satisfying themselves, the soldiers went 
out and were about to break open the corn-house. Wheeler 
called to them not to trouble themselves to split the door, as, 
if they would wait a minute, he would fetch the keys, and open 
himself; which he did. " Gentlemen," said the crafty Yankee, 
" I am a miller. I improve those mills yonder by which I get 
my living, and every gill of this flour " — at the same time 
putting his hand on a bag of flour that was really his own — 
" I raised and manufactured on my own farm, and it is all my 
own. This is my store-house. I keep- my flour here until such 
time as I can make a market for it." Upon this the officer in 



LEXINGTON TO CONCORD. 385 

command said, " Well, I believe you are a pretty honest old 
chap ; you don't look as if you would hurt anybody, and we 
•won't meddle with you." He then ordered his men to march. 
' Heywood's tavern was vigorously searched by the troops for 
a fugitive who had brought the alarm from Lexington. He, 
however, eluded their pursuit by getting up the chimney, where 
he remained until the search was given over. If the reader is 
surprised at finding so many houses of entertainment in Old 
Concord, he must remember it was the ancient seat of justice 
for Middlesex, and on the high-road from the capital to the 
New Hampshire Grants. 

The hill burying-ground is now thickly covered with a growth 
of young locust-trees, which somewhat obstruct the view, al- 
though they impart fragrance to the air and shade to the 
close-set graves. The oldest inscription here is dated in 1677. 
It is credible that the settlers who first made their homes 
in this hillside should have carried their dead to its summit. 
We observed here what we considered to be the rude sepul- 
chral stones seen in Dorchester and other ancient graveyards. 

One inscription usually attributed to the pen of Daniel 
Bliss, has been much admired. 

" God wills us free ; — man wills us slaves. 

I will as God wills ; God's will be doue. 

Here lies the body of 

John Jack 

A native of Africa who died 

March, 1773, aged about sixty years. 

Though born in a land of slavery, 

He was born free. 

Though he lived in a land of liberty, 

He lived a slave ; 

Till by his honest though stolen labours, 

He acquired the source of slavery, 

Which gave him his freedom ; 

Though not long before 

Death, the grand tyrant, 

Gave him his final emancipation, 

And put him on a footing with kings, 

Though a slave to vice, 

He practised those virtues, 

Without which kings are but slaves." 

17 Y 



386 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTEB XVIII. 

THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 

" That same man that runnith awaie, 
Maie again fight an other daie." 

Erasmus. 

THE area which we have been thus circumstantial in de- 
scribing was, on the morning of the battle, a scene of 
mingled activity, disorder, and consternation. The troops were 
occupied in searching the houses of the suspected, and in de- 
stroying or damaging such stores as they could find. Reserve 
companies stood in the principal avenue ready to move on any 
point, for Smith was too good a soldier to disperse his whole 
command. The court-house was set on fire by the soldiers, but 
they extinguished the flames at the intercession of Mrs. Moul- 
ton, an aged woman of over eighty. The garret contained a 
quantity of powder, which would, in exploding, have destroyed 
the houses in the vicinity. Colonel Shattuck's was also a 
hiding-place for' public property. The inhabitants, though 
" sulky," certainly behaved with address and self-possession in 
the emergency in which they found themselves. 

AU this time the storm without was gathering head. The 
troops had entered the town at seven. It was now nearly ten 
o'clock. So far the British had little reason to complain of 
their success, but in reality the provincial magazines had met 
with trifling injury. 

A magnetism easily accounted for conducted our footsteps 
along the half-mile of well-beaten road that leads to the site of 
the battle-ground, as it is called. A shady avenue, bordered 
with odoriferous pines and firs, parts from the road at the 
westward side and leads you in a few rods to the spot. Briefly, 
this was the old road to Carlisle, which here spanned the river 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 387 

by a simple wooden bridge resting upon piles. The passage of 
the bridge was secured by Smith's orders, who did not omit to 
possess himself of all the avenues leading into the town. A 
detachment under Captain Parsons, of the 10th, crossed the, 
bridge and proceeded to the house of Colonel Barrett, a leader 
among the patriots, and custodian of the Colony stores. Cap- 
tain Laurie of the 43d had the honor to command the troops 
left to protect the bridge. 

The monument is built of Carlisle granite, the corner-stone 
having been laid in 1825 in the presence of sixty survivors of 
the battle, who listened to an eloquent word-painting of their 
deeds from the lips of Everett. The Bunker Hill Monument 
Association aided greatly in advancing its erection. The pil- 
grim, as in duty bound, reads the inscription on the marble tab- 
let of the eastern face : — 

Here 

On the 19th of April, 1775, 

was made the first forcible resistance to 

British Aggression. 

On the opposite bank stood the American 

militia, and on this spot the first of the enemy fell 

in the War of the Revolution, 

which gave Independence to these United States. 

In gratitude to God, and in the love of Freedom, 

This monument was erected, 

A. D. 1836. 

What need to amplify the history after this simple conden- 
sation ! We seated ourselves on a boulder invitingly placed at 
the root of an elm that droops gracefully over the placid 
stream, and which stands close to the old roadway. Beyond, 
where you might easily toss a pebble, are the remains of the 
farther abutment of the old bridge, for the mastery of which 
deadly strife took place between the yeomen of Middlesex and 
the trained soldiers from the isles. For our own part we have 
never fallen upon so delightful a nook for scholar's revery or 
lovers' tryst. The beauty, harmony, and peacefulness of the 
landscape drove the pictures of war, which we came to retouch, 
clean away from our mental vision. Not a leaf trembled. The 



388 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

river in its almost imperceptible flow glided on without ripple 
or eddy. The trees, which had become embedded in the mould 
accumulated above the farther embankment, cast their black 
shadows across its quiet surface. A vagrant cow grazed quietly 
at the base of the monument, where the tablet tells us the 
newly springing sod was fertilized by the life-blood of the first 
slain foeman. 

" By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard round the world." 

The ground upon which the monument stands was given to 
the town by Dr. Ripley in 1834, for the purpose, and formed 
originally a part of the parsonage demesne. We cannot choose 
but challenge the anachronism of the inscription as well as the 
fitness of the site. The first declares that " here was made the 
first forcible resistance to British aggression." By substituting 
the word " American " for " British " we should adhere to his- 
toric truth; for, to the eternal honor of those Middlesex farmers, 
they were the aggressors, while " here " stood the enemy. The 
British fired the first volley, but the Americans were moving 
upon them with arms in their hands. 

When Thomas Hughes, Esq., better known as "Tom 
Brown," was here, he is said to have exclaimed, "British 
aggression ! I thought America was a colony of Great Britain, 
and that her soldiers had a right to march where they pleased ! " 

This monument, therefore, marks the spot where the British 
soldiers fought and fell, while the place where the gallant yeo- 
men gave up their lives is as yet without a memorial. A 
wealthy citizen of Concord bequeathed by his will a sum to be 
applied to the restoration of the old bridge, taken down in 
1793, and for the erection of a monument on the farther shore. 
A committee of intelligent and patriotic gentlemen have the 
affair in train, and expect by the 19th of April,* 1875, to have 
fulfilled the conditions of Mr. Hubbard's legacy. The present 
monument, however, remains a source of perplexity, — the in- 
habitants neither wish to take it down nor to let it remain with 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCOED. 389 

its present inscription. JSTo objection suggests itself to permit- 
ting the old monument to stand, as the position of both con- 
tending parties will then be distinguished. The rebuilding of 
the bridge is a commendable object, as the battle-ground now 
wants its most interesting feature. 

A few paces from the monument, beside a stone- wall, are the 
graves of the two British soldiers who were killed here, their 
place of sepulture marked by two rough stones. One of these 
has so nearly disappeared by acts of vandalism as to be scarcely 
visible above the sod. A large fragment of another was placed 
under the corner of the soldiers' monument in the public square, 
with what object we are unable to conjecture. 

At this place the river, which before flowed easterly, bends 
a little to the north. The old road, after passing the stream, 
ran parallel with it along the wet ground for some distance be- 
fore ascending the heights beyond. The muster-field of the 
provincials is now owned by Mr. George Keyes, who has found 
flints such as were then used where the Americans stood in 
battle-array. Were they dropped there by some wavering spirit 
who feared to stain his soul with bloodshed, or were they dis- 
carded by some of sterner cast 1 — a Hay ward, perhaps, who 
drew up his gun at the same moment the Briton levelled his 
own, and gave and received the death-shot. 

Mr. Keyes has also ploughed up a number of arrow-heads, 
axes, pestles, and other of the rude stone implements of the 
original owners of the soil, who kept faith with the white man 
as he had kept faith with them. Hardships fell to the settlers' 
lot, but peace and concord endured, in token of the name 
which Peter Bulkley, their first minister, gave the plantation. 

The Old Manse has received immortality through the genius 
of Hawthorne. It was built in 1765, the year of the Stamp 
Act, for Rev. William Emerson, the fighting parson, the same 
who vehemently opposed retreating from before the British in 
the morning af Concord ; the same who died a chaplain in the 
army. The same reverend gentleman likewise officiated as 
chaplain to the Provincial Congress when it sat in Concord. 

Standing back from the road, a walk bordered by black ash- 



390 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

trees, now somewhat in the decline of life, leads to the front 
door. The house looks as if it had never received the coat of 
paint, the prospect of which so alarmed Hawthorne's sensibili- 
ties. It is of two stories with gambrel roof and a chimney 
peeping above at either end. The front faces the road, the 
back is towards the river ; one end" looks up the street by 
which you have come from the town, while the other com- 
mands a view of the old abandoned road to the bridge, — the 
boundary of the demesne in that direction. A considerable 
tract of open land extends upon all sides. 

The Manse is among modern structures what a Gray Friar 
in cowl and cassock might be in an assemblage of fashionably 
dressed individuals. The single dormer window in the garret 
looks as if it might have made a quaint setting for the head of 
the old clergyman, with his silver hairs escaping from beneath 
his nightcap. If he looked forth of a summer's twilight to scan 
the heavens, fireflies flitted sparkling across the fields, as if 
some invisible hand had traced an evanescent flash in the air. 
Behind the house, among the rushes of the river meadows, the 
frogs sang jubilee in every key from the deep diapason of the 
patriarchal croaker to the shrill piping of juvenile amphibian. 
Discord unspeakable followed the shores of the Concord along 
its windings even to its confluence with the Assabeth. The din 
of these night-disturbers seemed to us, as we stood on the riv- 
er's bank, like the gibings of many demons let loose to murder 
sleep. And one fellow — doubt it if you will, reader — actu- 
ally brayed with the lungs of a donkey. 

" As the worn war-horse, at the trumpet's sound, 
Erects his mane and neighs and paws the ground." 

Walking around to the rear of the Manse, we see a section 
of the roof continued down into a lean to, — a thing so unusual 
that we make a note thereon, the gambrel being the successor of 
the leanto in our architecture. The back entrance is completely 
embowered in syringas, whose beautiful waxen flowers form a 
striking contrast with the gray walls. Vines climb and cling 
to the house as if ineffectually seeking an entrance, imparting 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. oUl 

to it a picturesqueness answerable to and harmonizing with 
the general effect of the mansion. We give a glance at the 
garden where Hawthorne grew his summer squashes, of which 
he talks so poetically. What, Hawthorne delving among pota- 
toes, cabbages, and squashes ! We can scarce bend our imagina- 
tion to meet such an exigency. It is only a little way down to 
the river where he moored his boat, in which he floated and 
dreamed with Ellery Channing. 

We enter the house. A hall divides it in the middle, giving 
comfortable apartments at either hand. Some mementos of 
the old residents serve to carry us back to their day and gener- 
ation. A portrait of the Rev. Dr. Ripley, the successor of Mr. 
Emerson, and inhabitant of the house many years, hangs upon 
the wall. His descendants still possess the Manse. On the 
mantel is framed an invitation to General Washington's table, 
addressed, perhaps, to Dr. Emerson. The ink is faded and the 
grammar might be improved ; but the dinner, we doubt not, 
was none the less unexceptionable. 

Hawthorne's study was in an upper room, but let none but 
himself describe it. 

" There was in the rear of the house the most delightful little 
nook of a study that ever afforded its snug seclusion to the scholar. 
It was here that Emerson wrote ' Nature ' ; for he was then an in- 
habitant of the Manse. 

" There was the sweet and lovely head of one of Raphael's Madon- 
nas and two pleasant little pictures of the Lake of Como. The only 
other decorations were a vase of flowers, always fresh, and a bronze 
one containing ferns. My books (few, and by no means choice ; for 
they were chiefly such waifs as chance had thrown in my way) stood 
in order about the room, seldom to be disturbed. 

"The study had three windows, set with little old-fashioned panes 
of glass, each with a crack across it. The two on the western side 
looked, or rather peeped, between the willow branches down into 
the orchard, with glimpses of the river through the trees. The third, 
facing northward, commanded a broader view of the river, at a spot 
where its hitherto obscure waters gleam forth into the light of his- 
tory. It was at this window that the clergyman who then dwelt in 
the Manse stood watching the outbreak of a long and deadly struggle 



392 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

between two nations : he saw the irregular array of his parishioners 
on the farther side of the river and the glittering line of the British 
on the hither bank. He awaited in an agony of suspense the rattle 
of the musketry. It came ; and there needed but a gentle wind to 
sweep the battle smoke around this quiet house." 

In 1843 Hawthorne — whom many here name Haw-ihome 
as they would say " HawAmck " to their oxen — came to dwell 
at the Manse. The place would not have suited him now. The 
railway coming from Lexington passes at no great distance, and 
the scream of the steam-whistle would have rudely interrupted 
his meditative fancies. He lived here the life of a recluse, re- 
ceiving . the visits of only a few chosen friends, such as Whit- 
tier, Lowell, Emerson, Channing, Thoreau, and perhaps a few 
others. Here he passed the first years of his married life, and 
here his first child was born. The townspeople knew him only 
by sight as a reserved, absorbed, and thoughtful man. 

The house opposite the Manse, now the residence of Mr. J. 
S. Keyes, is another witness of the events of that April day. 
The then resident was named Jones, who, from being a spec- 
tator of the scenes at the bridge, maddened at the sight, wished 
to fire upon the redcoats. It is said that he levelled his gun 
from the window, but his wife, more prudent, prevented him 
from pulling the trigger. He at last stationed himself at the 
open door of the shed as the regulars passed by, when he was 
fired at, and with evil intent, as you may see by the bullet- 
hole near the door. Farther our informant did not proceed ; 
but in the angry swarm that clung to and stung the Britons' 
column all that day, we doubt not Jones at last emptied the 
contents of his musket. 

In Mr. Keyes's house we saw a marble mantel beautifully 
sculptured in relief. It is a relic from the old Chamber of 
Representatives at Washington. On the fender the feet of 
Adams, Clay, Webster, Calhoun, and the master spirits of that 
old hall have often rested. Before the emblematic fasces the 
great Carolinian brooded how to loose the bands. The cau- 
cuses, bickerings, and party tactics that fireplace could tell of 
would make a curious volume. Ascending the hill behind the 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 393 

house you have a ravishing landscape, with blue Wachusett 
looming in the distance. 

The Concord deserves to be known in all time as the Rubicon 
of our history. The affair at Lexington was but a butchery : 
here the Americans gave shot for shot and life for life. Their 
blood on fire with the rage of battle and the fall of their 
friends, it is most unaccountable that the patriots allowed Par- 
sons and his command to repass the bridge unmolested. These 
last must have stepped over the dead bodies of their com- 
rades stretched in their path, gathering evil augury from the 
sight. 

This ended the advance, and here begins the retreat, which 
we should say is one of the most extraordinary in the annals 
of war, for the pertinacity of the pursuit by an armed rabble 
and for the complete demoralization of eight hundred disci- 
plined soldiers, led by officers of experience. The old song 
makes the British grenadier recite in drawling recitative : — 

" For fifteen miles they followed and pelted us, we scarce had time to draw a 
trigger ; 
But did you ever know a retreat conducted with more vigour ? 
For we did it in two hours, which saved us from perdition ; 
'T was not in going out but in returning, consisted our expedition. " 

The British detachment from the North Bridge buried one 
of their slain at the point of the hill as they turned into the 
square, where the house of Mr. Keyes formerly stood. The 
wounded were carried into Dr. Minott's. All being at length 
collected, the troops begin their march, — the main body by 
the road, a strong flanking column by the burying-ground hill. 
This hill terminates at the distance of a mile from the centre of 
the town at Meriam's Corner. The flanking column had to 
descend the hill at this point, where the road passes the low 
meadow by a causeway until it reaches the hill beyond. Near 
the corner was a little bridge thrown over a brook, which the 
road crossed, 

Meriam's house and barn are still seen in the angle where 
fehe Bedford road unites with that coming from Lexington. 
From behind these buildings gallant John Brooks with his 
17* 



394 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Heading company arrived in time to pour a volley among the 
enemy as they were passing the bridge. Brooks, a captain in 
Bridge's regiment, had received his colonel's permission to push 
on while the regiment halted for refreshment. Loammi Bald- 
win came up with the Woburn men, who drifted in a cloud 
along the British flank. The men of Sudbury, of Lincoln, and 
even Parkers's from Lexington, joined in the race, for race it 
was beginning to be. The fields grew armed men, and the 
highway was fringed with fire-arms. 

The six miles from Concord back to Lexington were per- 
fectly adapted to the guerilla-fighting of the Americans. They 
abounded in defiles and places for ambush. On the other hand, 
the retreating enemy was somewhat covered by the stone-walls 
as long as the flank guards could keep them clear of foemen ; 
but the column was fired at in front, in rear, and on all sides 
at once. Eanks, platoons, and the semblance of military order 
were soon lost. We need no ghost to tell us what such a retreat 
must have been. The dust trampled into stifling clouds, and en- 
veloping everything ; the burning thirst which men brave death 
to assuage ; no time to halt ■ tongues parched and cleaving to the 
roof of the mouth ; haggard faces, and red, bloodshot eyes ; the 
proud array and martial bearing all gone ; burnished arms and 
uniforms stained with powder and dirt ; one by one a comrade 
dropping with a bullet in his heart, or another falling out, ex- 
hausted, to await his fate in dogged despair, — this is what it 
meant to retreat fighting from Concord to Lexington. The col- 
umn, like some bleeding reptile, scotched but not killed, dragged 
its weary length along. Stedman, the British historian,' says 
the regulars were driven like sheep. Harassed, humiliated, and 
despairing, the men became fiends, divested of every semblance 
of humanity. Every shot that whistled through the broken 
battalion proclaimed aloud, " The Province is dead ! Long live 
the Eepublic ! " 

That same prowling ensign, Bernicre, tells his own tale : — > 

" At last, after we got through Lexington, the officers got to the 
front and presented their bayonets and told the men if they advanced 
they should die. Upon this they began to form under a very heavy 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 395 

fire ; but at this instant the first brigade joined us, consisting of the 
4th, 23d, and 47th regiments, and two divisions of marines, under 
the command of Brigadier- General Lord Percy; he brought two 
field-pieces with him, which were immediately brought to bear upon 
the rebels, and soon silenced their fire. After a little firing the 
whole halted for about half an hour to rest." 

Percy opened his ranks and received the fugitives within 
his squares. His cannon, a new element for the militia to 
deal with, were unlimbered and began to play on the hunt- 
ers. Smith's men threw themselves upon the ground, " with 
their tongues hanging out of their mouths, like those of 
dogs after a chase." Certainly, my lord was near being too 
late. 

This was the first appearance of the Eoyal Artillery in the 
war. The 4th battalion was in Boston under command of 
Colonel Cleaveland, who also served on the staff of the army as 
brigadier, as did most of the colonels of the line regiments. In 
relation to the report sent to England that the pieces were not 
well provided with ammunition, Colonel Cleaveland stated that 
Lord Percy refused to take an ammunition-wagon, which was 
on the parade, fearing it might retard the march, and did not 
imagine there could be occasion for more than was in the side 
boxes. A more serious complaint was preferred against Cleave- 
land at Bunker Hill, where, according to Stedman, he sent 
balls too large for the guns, which rendered the artillery use- 
less until the error could be rectified. Allusion is also made 
to this occurrence in a letter in the British Detail and Conduct 
of the War, in which it is said, " The wretched blunder of the 
over-sized balls sprung from the dotage of an officer of rank in 
that corps, who spends his whole time in dallying with the 
schoolmaster's daughters." This language is attributed to Sir 
William Howe, and the Misses Lovell are referred to. Colonel 
Cleaveland, however, says he sent sixty rounds with each of 
the twelve guns that accompanied the troops, but that not more 
than half were fired. The name of a brother of the " school- 
master's daughters " has been mixed up with this accident, 
which is also referred to in the song : — 



396 historic fields and mansions of Middlesex. 

" Our conductor lie got broke 
For his misconduct, sure, sir ; 
The shot he sent for twelve-pound guns 
Were made for twenty -four, sir. " 

The companies of the Royal Artillery were numbered, and 
wore in full dress a laced hat with black feather, hair clubbed 
and powdered, white stock, white breeches and stockings. 
They were armed with a carbine and bayonet. The Conti- 
nental artillery were formed upon the same model. 

The place where Percy met the fugitives is about half a mile 
below Lexington Common. One of his cannon was placed 
upon a little eminence near the present site of the Town Hall. 
This elevation has since been levelled. The other gun was 
posted on the hiU above the old Munroe Tavern, and back of 
the residence of the late Deacon Mulliken. These pieces com- 
manded the road for a considerable distance in front, and one 
of them sent a shot through the old meeting-house. 

The old inn of William Munroe, which was used as a hos- 
pital for the British wounded during their halt in its vicinity, 
yet stands, somewhat altered in appearance, but still the same 
building as in 1775. It presents its end to the high-road, and 
faces you as you pass up towards Lexington Common. The 
place is still owned. by the Munroe family, the house being at 
present occupied by Everett E. Smith. A short distance be- 
yond, the road from Woburn unites with that in which we are 
journeying, which was the old post-road to No. Four, Crown 
Point, and the New Hampshire Grants. 

Gage had received the express, and at nine o'clock despatched 
the Earl with something less than a thousand men and two 
field-pieces. The noble Northumbrian marched out over Boston 
Neck with the Royal Welsh, King's Own, 47th, and his cannon 
at his heels, to the tune of Yankee Doodle. We feel that al- 
lowance must be made for Gordon's statement that' a smart boy 
attracted his Lordship's attention by recalling Chevy Chase to 
him, — a circumstance at which his Lordship seemed much 
affected ; but as we now know no other means of ascertaining 
the truth than by a resort to supernatural agencies, — to which, 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 397 

however, it is possible the noble Earl's ethereal part might fail 
to respond, — we willingly refer the subject to the reader as a 
tough historical morsel. 

Yankee Doodle, from whatever cause, ceased to be popular 
with the English after this day. On the return from Lexing- 
ton one Briton asked a brother officer " how he liked the tune 
now." " Damn them ! " was the reply, "they made us dance 
it till we were tired." Yankee Doodle was beat along the 
American line at the surrender of Burgoyne. 

At eight o'clock on the morning of the 19th the people of 
Boston first knew that a collision between the troops and 
people had occurred, though an express had arrived at the Gen- 
eral's quarters at an earlier hour. The anxiety to know the 
circumstances was extreme, especially when Percy's brigade was 
seen under arms. Word was immediately sent to Watertown 
by a sure hand, and at ten o'clock Trial Bissell mounted his 
horse, carrying the first intelligence of the events thus far, — 
namely, the slaughter at Lexington and the momentarily ex- 
pected arrival of the first brigade. He took the great southern 
highway. The town committees on the route made copies of 
his despatch and gave him fresh horses. Worcester, Hartford, 
New Haven, were in turn reached and electrified. At the time 
the express rider left Watertown the idea of preventing the 
junction of Smith with Percy was circulating, but no combina- 
tion to that end could be effected. 

At noon Gage gave out to the inhabitants of Boston, by 
his aide-de-camp, that no one had been killed. He had not, 
it is said, been informed of the massacre on Lexington Com- 
mon until late in the afternoon. Rumors then flew thickly, 
raising the excitement within the town to the highest pitch. 
Percy and Haldimand were both reported killed. But the 
reader knows by what exaggerated accounts the news of battle 
is usually heralded. 

Percy's force was doubtless considered equal to every emer- 
gency. His own and Colonel Smith's commands comprised 
about half Gage's available strength, and included the flower 
of the army. The relieving troops passed on unassailed through 



398 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

Boxbury, Brookline, Little Cambridge, now Brighton, to Charles 
River. At this point they found the " leaves " of the bridge 
had been removed, but, the rest of the structure being unin- 
jured, they were soon found, replaced, and Percy, after being 
some time delayed, proceeded. The season was unusually early. 
The barley was waving in the fields, the pastures were green, 
and the men plucked branches from the cherry-trees, on which 
the buds were bursting into bloom. It was a warm and dry 
day, and the men suffered with the heat. An officer in the de- 
tachment observing, as they marched along, that the windows 
of the houses were all shut, remarked to his commander, that, 
in his opinion, they would meet but little opposition. " So 
much the worse," Lord Percy replied, " for we shall be fired on 
from those very houses." 

Percy, having allowed breathing time to the troops, threw 
out his flankers, faced about, and commenced his retrograde 
march. Captain Harris, — the same mentioned in a previous 
chapter as Lord Harris, — senior captain of the 5th, Percy's 
own regiment, was , ordered to cover the retreat. It was now 
about half past two in the afternoon. 

The Americans were joined in the upper part of Menotomy 
by Dr. Warren and General Heath, who were the master-spir- 
its in conducting the attack from this point. The Earl adopted 
a savage expedient for clearing his way. Parties fell off from 
the front, entered the houses by the road, first plundered, and 
then set them on fire. For two miles, after descending into 
the plain of Menotomy, it was a continued scene of arson, pil- 
lage, and slaughter. The militia having assembled from the 
more populous towns near Boston, their numbers were greatly 
augmented, and the conflict here merged into the proportions 
of a battle. Led by Warren, and maddened by the sight of 
the burning dwellings, the fleeing women and children, and 
the stark bodies of aged men lying dead by their own hearth- 
stones, the patriots fell upon the British rear with fury. Har- 
ris was so hard pressed that half his company, with his lieuten- 
ant, Baker, were either killed or wounded. When accosted by 
Percy, the captain, with his grenadier-cap filled with water for 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 399 

the relief of the wounded, offered some of the precious beverage 
to the Earl, but his Lordship gratefully declined it. Warren 
had the pin struck from the hair of his earlock by a bullet at 
this time. A British officer had his bayonet-scabbard shot 
from his side, and Percy came near realizing his sombre appre- 
hensions, a musket-ball carrying away, a button from his waist- 
coat. The cannon ammunition being expended, the pieces 
became a useless encumbrance. Smith is wounded, and Bernard 
of the Welsh has received a hurt. Chevy Chase, indeed ! 

Eliphalet Downer's Duel. 

Dr. Eliphalet Downer left his house in Punch-Bowl Tillage, 
in Brookline, early in the morning, first directing his wife and 
children to a place of safety. He then repaired to the front. 

Coming in sight of the main body of the enemy advancing 
in their retreat, he suddenly encountered one of their flankers, 
who had stopped to pillage a house. At the same moment the 
soldier descried Downer, who instantly put himself in the duel- 
list's posture of defence, presenting his side to his foe. Both 
levelled their guns, and both missed. The antagonists then 
closed in deadly struggle. They crossed bayonets, each hoping 
by superior strength or skill to obtain the advantage. Eor the 
little time they looked into each other's eyes, gleaming with fero- 
city, and read there the bitter resolve to destroy, each knew the 
supreme moment had come. They lunged, parried, locked bay- 
onets, and with every muscle strained to its utmost tension 
strove for each other's life. Downer soon found he was no 
match for Lis adversary in dexterous use of the bayonet. He 
could only protract the contest, while all the time the main 
body was coming nearer. Gathering himself together for a 
desperate effort, Downer, with incredible quickness, reversed 
his firelock and dealt the Briton a terrific stroke with the butt 
which brought him to the ground. The blow shattered the 
breech of his gun, that had served him so good a turn. His 
blood was up, he had fought for life, his enemy was only dis- 
abled, and he finished him with' eight inches of cold steel : 



400 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

then, possessing himself of the soldier's arms as the spoil of 
victory, he hastily retreated to a safer position. When the 
battle was over, he found his forehead had been grazed by a 
musket-ball. General Heath, in noticing this combat, calls Dr. 
Downer " an active, enterprising man " ! 

A little about the bellicose doctor's subsequent career. He 
immediately joined the army as surgeon. His regiment having 
disbanded at the conclusion of the siege of Boston, he entered 
on board the privateer sloop Yankee, Captain Johnson, in a 
similar capacity. The sloop mounted nine guns, four on a side. 
In her first cruise in July, 1776, she fell in with two ships, the 
Creighton and Zachara, heavily laden with rum and sugar. 
These she took. Our surgeon, compelled to remain below, as- 
sisted in working the odd gun in the cabin. 

Captain Johnson having sent a number of his men away 
with the prizes, the prisoners took advantage of the lenity with 
which they were treated, rose and possessed themselves of the 
sloop. Their captors, now prisoners, were taken to England, 
where they were treated with great rigor. Downer found 
friends, who obtained his removal from prison into a public 
hospital as an assistant, and in the course of a year made his 
escape to France. Not finding an immediate opportunity of 
returning to America, he entered on board the Alliance, then 
fitting out at a French port for a cruise in the Channel. She 
had the good fortune to capture eighteen prizes. 

The Doctor then took ship for home, but on the passage had 
the ill-luck to again become a prisoner. The vessel in which 
he was fought for seven hours and a half, had both her masts 
shot away, and fired her last round before she surrendered. 
Downer was severely wounded in the action by a grape-shot. 
He, with his fellow-prisoners, becames inmates of Portsea Prison, 
near Portsmouth, where, to use the Doctor's own language, they 
were worse treated than if they had fallen into the power of 
savages. 

The prisoners contrived to dig a hole under ground for a dis- 
tance of forty feet, their object being to pass under the prison- 
wall and into the street. This was effected with no other tool 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 401 

than a jack-knife, and a sack to carry away the earth, which was 
deposited in an old chimney and beneath the floor. Only one 
person at a time could work at the excavation, which had to be 
prosecuted at certain hours of the day, as the noise at night 
would have discovered them to the sentinel who paced directly 
above the workman's head. Once they were betrayed, but, the 
gallery being at length completed, they cast lots for precedence 
in the order of escape. The Doctor was rather corpulent, and 
when his turn came he stuck fast in the passage, completely 
blocking the way until it could be enlarged by the removal of 
more earth. Owing to the badness of the roads in that chalky 
country, made worse by rains, many of the fugitives were recap- 
tured and consigned to the black-hole. The Doctor's friends 

— for Americans had friends even then in the heart of England 

— concealed him till an opportunity offered for him to cross 
over to France, from whence he made his way to Boston after 
an absence of three years. Dr. Downer afterwards served as 
surgeon-general of the Penobscot expedition, that most melan- 
choly of failures. He was the grandfather of Samuel Downer 
of Boston. 

As you go towards Lexington, at your left hand, nearly op- 
posite the Baptist Church, is an old house rejuvenated with 
white paint and bright with green blinds. Still, beneath this 
disguise, and in spite of the modern additions grafted on the 
parent structure, you may recognize it for a veteran by its mon- 
strous chimney and simple outlines. The house is somewhat 
back from the street, with the end towards it. It is the dwell- 
ing of Mr. Eussell Teel. 

We found in this house the mother of Mr. Teel, a sprightly, 
intelligent lady of eighty-one. She willingly related the tra- 
gedy that happened here on the 19th of April, 1775. 
• After the regulars had passed up to Lexington, a number of 
minute-men from the eastward, who had collected here, thought 
a good opportunity would occur to harass them on their return. 
To this end they made a small breastwork of casks, shingles, 
and such movables as they could readily obtain near the pres- 
ent gate and next the road. From behind this cover the pa- 



402 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

triots fired on Percy's van, but they had not taken into account 
the flank-guards moving across the fields parallel with the main 
body. Hemmed in between these two columns, the minute- 
men sought shelter within the dwelling. 

" My grandfather, Jason Russell, then lived in this house," 
continued Mrs. Teel. " He had conducted his wife and chil- 
dren to the high hill back of the house, and was returning, 
when he was discovered and pursued, with the others, into the 
house. He was first shot and then bayoneted. The bloody 
stains remained until quite recently upon the floor, where he 
with ten others perished while in vain entreating mercy. Sev- 
eral Americans of this ill-fated band, which belonged to Lynn, 
Danvers, and Beverly, retreated into the cellar, and as they 
were well armed the British durst not follow them, but dis- 
charged several volleys into the entrance." Upon opening the 
door leading to the cellar, a dozen bullet-holes were plainly 
visible in the heavy cross-timbers. Jason Eussell was an in- 
valid, and it is thought imprudently returned to his dwelling to 
save some articles of value. 

Russell's old store, which is seen with a modern addition not 
far above the railway-station and on the same side of the main 
street, was entered by the regulars, who, after helping them- 
selves to the liquors which they found there, left all the spigots 
turned so as to waste what remained. Eight in front of this 
store a soldier was mortally wounded, and in his agony begged 
his comrades to finish him. 

Opposite the Unitarian Church, the successor of the several 
houses of the First Parish, is the scene of the following inci- 
dents. Two wagons had been despatched from Boston in the 
route of Percy's brigade, but at some distance in his rear. One 
contained ammunition, the want of which he had so miscalcu- 
lated on setting out, the other was loaded with provisions. A 
guard of seventeen men and an officer accompanied the convoy. 
Information reached Menotomy that these supplies were com- 
ing, and their capture was at once resolved upon. The young 
men were all in the main action then going on in Lexington, 
and this affair was managed by some of the elders, led, say 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 403 

the town traditions, by David Lamson, a half-breed, though 
Gordon claims this honor for Rev. Dr. Payson, of Chelsea. 

A low stone-wall then extended in front of the present resi- 
dence of George Eussell. The ground here falls off sharply 
towards the railway, forming a hollow in which was kept an 
old cider-mill. Behind this wall the patriots posted themselves, 
and when the train arrived opposite their ambuscade they rose 
to their feet, levelled their guns, and called out for the officer 
to surrender. For answer the drivers lashed their horses, upon 
which Lam son's party fired a volley, killing and wounding at 
least four of the escort, besides disabling several of the horses. 
The officer soon found himself alone and was made prisoner. 
Several of the guard ran to the pond, into which they threw 
their guns ; then, continuing their flight for half a mile along 
its westerly shore, they came to a little valley where they en- 
countered an old woman digging dandelions, to whom they 
gave themselves up. The wagons became the prize of the 
Americans. 

We frankly admit the doubts which assailed us at first in 
regard to this old woman digging dandelions. On a day so un- 
favorable, with Percy's guns rumbling in the distance, the mus- 
ketry sputtering spitefully at intervals, the spectacle of Mother 
Batherick calmly digging early greens awoke in our mind a 
scepticism such as not unfrequently attends the announcement 
of natural phenomena. The relation being authenticated by 
persons of high credibility, we are no longer surprised that a 
squad of his Majesty's grenadiers gave themselves up to such 
an Amazon. And yet this woman lived and died in poverty. 
Her figure was tall and commanding, her eye piercing. She 
led her captives to a neighbor's house, and there delivered them 
up with the injunction to tell the story of their capture to their 
king. The home of John T. Trowbridge, the author, is the 
arena of Mother Batherick's exploit. 

The old house which stood opposite the railway-station, on 
the spot now occupied by the residence of Mr. Pierce, was 
that of Deacon Adams, a leading man in the village. The 
dwelling was riddled with bullets, and a big elm standing near 



404 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

was spattered with- lead, which the j^outh of West Cambridge 
were fond of cutting out and displaying as souvenirs. When 
the old house was pulled down, and the .tree, rotten with age, 
was laid low, many of the leaden mementos were secured. 

Another family of this name, so hateful to the British, lived 
higher up the road. Mrs. Adams was sick in bed, with a new- 
born infant at her side. The regulars forced open . the doors, 
and, bursting into the room in which she was lying, one of the 
brutes levelled his bayonet at her breast. The poor woman, in 
an agony of fear, cried out, " For the Lord's sake do not kill 
me ! " " Damn you ! " ejaculated the brute. Another, more hu- 
mane, interposed, and said, "We will not hurt the woman if she 
will go out of the house, but we will surely burn it." Strength- 
ened by terror, Mrs. Adams arose, and throwing a blanket about 
her person crawled to the corn-house with her infant in her 
arms. Her other little children, concealed by the curtains, re- 
mained unsuspected under the bed which she had just left. The 
soldiers then made a pile of chairs, tables, books, clothing, etc., 
to which, after helping themselves to as much plunder as they 
could carry, they set fire. The flames, however, were extin- 
guished at the instant the troops had passed by. A relative of 
the family, from whom the writer received this narration, has a 
small Bible which the soldiers had used to kindle the fire at 
Deacon Adams's. It was much scorched, and although she did 
not say so much, we could easily see that the owner attributed 
the preservation of the house to the sacred volume. 

At Cooper's whig tavern, now the site of the Arlington 
House, the king's troops committed similar atrocities. Two 
unresisting old men, non-combatants, were killed, their skulls 
crushed and their brains scattered about. More than a hundred 
shots were fired into the house. Farther on was the tory tav- 
ern, to which the British officers were accustomed to resort. 
At that time four houses stood near together between the Cam- 
bridge line and the railway-station in Arlington, all owned by 
families of the name of Winship. The couplet runs, — 

" Jed' and Jeth', Jason and Jo' 
All lived in Menotomy Row.'* 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 405 

Only a single shot was inadvertently fired into the tavern 
which stood near the position of Mr. Abbott Allen's house. 
Winship kept here in 1772, and Lem. Blanchard later. 

In the same strain the relation might be continued, but 
enough has been said to show that the severest fighting and 
most afflicting scenes took place in old Menotomy. Mrs. Win- 
throp, who passed over the ground shortly after the battle, 
says : — 

" But what added greatly to the horrors of the scene was our pass- 
ing through the bloody field at Menotomy, which was strewed with 
the mangled bodies. We met one affectionate father with a cart, 
looking for his murdered son, and picking up his neighbors who had 
fallen in battle, in order for their burial." 

It is probable that Percy intended to return as he came, but 
by this time he learned that Brighton Bridge had been effectu- 
ally disabled. Had this not been done, the villages of Old 
Cambridge, Brookline, and Boxbury would have each renewed 
the scenes of Menotomy. To have forced his way for eight 
miles farther might have been difficult, if not impossible, for 
Percy. Fortune, therefore, conducted the head of his column 
back through Charlestown by the way around Prospect Hill. 
At the old tavern in North Cambridge -the officers may have 
hastily swallowed a mouthful of spirits. At six o'clock the 
British vanguard began to file across Charlestown Neck, and 
ranged themselves in battle line on the heights of Bunker Hill, 
where they remained until the next day. They were then re- 
lieved by the marines and the third brigade. 

" Says our General we were forced to take to our arms in our own defence ; 
{For arms read legs, and it will be both truth and sense.) 
Lord Percy (says he) I must say something of him in civility, 
And that is I never can enough praise him for his great agility." 

We annex the whole account of this battle as it appeared in 
Draper's Boston Gazette of April 20, 1775, which is, we think, 
worthy of being numbered among the literary curiosities of its 
day: — 

Battle of Lexington. 

" Last Tuesday Night the Grenadier and Light Companies belong- 
ing to the several Regiments in this Town were ferried in Long 



406 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

boats from the Bottom of the Common over to Phip's Farm hi Cam- 
bridge, from whence they proceeded on their way to Concord where 
they arrived early yesterday. The first Brigade commanded by 
Lord Piercy with two pieces of Artillery set off from here Yesterday 
Morning at Ten o'clock as a Re-inforcement, which with the Grena- 
diers and Light Companies made about Eighteen Hundred men. 
Upon the people's having notice of this Movement on Tuesday night 
alarm guns were fired through the country and Expresses sent off 
to the different Towns so that very early yesterday morning large 
numbers were assembled from all parts of the Country. A general 
Battle ensued which from what we can learn, was supported with 
great Spirit upon both Sides and continued until the King's Troops 
retreated to Charlestown, which was after sunset. Numbers are 
killed and wounded on both sides. The reports concerning this 
unhappy Affair and the Causes that concurred to bring on an En- 
gagement are so various that we are not able to collect anything 
consistent or regular and cannot therefore with certainty give our 
readers any further Account of this shocking Introduction to all 
the Miseries of Civil War." 

The American accounts appeared in the form of hand-bills. 
One, printed in Boston, is embellished with a death's-head, and 
contains a list of the American killed and wounded. Another 
has at its head twenty coffins, bearing each the name of one 
of the slain. It is entitled, 

"BLOODY BUTCHERY 

BY THE 

BRITISH TROOPS 

OR THE 
BUNA WAY FIGHT OF THE REGULARS." 
" Being the PARTICULARS of the VICTORIOUS BATTLE fought at 
and near CONCORD, situated Twenty Miles from Boston, in the Province of 
the Massachusetts Bay, between Two Thousand Regular Troops, belonging to 
'His Britanic Majesty," and a few Hundred Provincial Troops, belonging to the 
Province of Massachusetts- Bay, which lasted from sunrise until sunset, on the 
19th of April, 1775, when it was decided greatly in favor of the latter. These 
particulars are published in this cheap form at the request of the friends of the 
deceased WORTHIES who died gloriously fighting in the Cause of Liberty 
and their Country and it is their sincere desire that every Householder in 
the Country, who are sincere well-wishers to America may be possessed of the 
same either to frame and glass, or otherwise to preserve in their houses, not 
only as a Token of Gratitude to the memory of the Deceased Forty Persons 



THE RETEEAT FROM CONCORD. 407 

but as a perpetual memorial of that important event on which perhaps, may- 
depend the future Freedom and Greatness of the Commonwealth of America. 
To which is annexed a Funeral Elegy on those who were slain in the Battle." 

In the burying-ground at Arlington we found a plain shaft 
of granite, nineteen feet high, standing over the remains of the 
fallen. The monument is protected by a neat iron fence, and 
has a tablet with this inscription : — 

" Erected by the 

Inhabitants of West Cambridge 

a. d. 1848, 

Over the common grave of 

Jason Russell, Jason Win ship, 

Jabez Wyman and nine othefs 

Who were slain in this Town by the 

British Troops, 

on their retreat from the battles of 

Lexington and Concord, 

April 19th 1775. 

Being among the first to lay down 

their lives in the struggle for 

American Independence." 

A plain slate gravestone at the foot of the obelisk has the 
following : — 

" M r Jason Russell was 
barbarously murdered in his own 
House by Gage's bloody Troops 
on y e 19th of April 1775 ^Etat 59 
His body is quietly resting 
in this grave with Eleven 
of our friends, who in like 
manner, with many others were 
cruelly slain on that fatal day. 
Blessed are y e dead who die in y e 
Lord." 

The memorial was erected by the voluntary contributions of 
the citizens of West Cambridge ; the remains beneath the old 
slab being disinterred and placed within the vault under the 
monument, April 22, 1848. Nine of the twelve victims are 
unknown. 



408 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

t 

At Acton, on the 19th of April, 1851, a monument was dedi- 
cated to the gallant spirits belonging to that town who fell on 
the day of Lexington and Concord. The tablet bears the names 
of Captain Isaac Davis and of privates Abner Hosmer and 
James Hayward, provincial minute-men. 

It was Davis's company which marched in the van to force 
the passage of the North Bridge. A halt and parley had 
occurred among the provincial soldiers. None, apparently, 
were desirous of occupying the post of honor and of facing the 
British muzzles. Davis, resolute, and ashamed of this ignoble 
conduct before the enemy, exclaimed, " I have n't a man that is 
afraid to go " ; immediately suiting the action to the word by 
marshalling his men in the front. He appeared depressed, and 
had rebuked the gayety of some of his comrades who break- 
fasted with him on that, to him, fateful morning. 

" 'T is the sunset of life gives us mystical lore, 
And coming events cast their shadows before." 

Davis was a tall, athletic man, famed for courage and cool- 
ness. He was a gunsmith, and an excellent marksman. At the 
first Volley he was shot through the heart. He leaped convul- 
sively in the air, and fell, still grasping his musket, over the 
causeway on the low ground. Hosmer was killed by the same 
fire. Hayward's more tragic death we have briefly alluded to. 
He was killed, during the pursuit, at the red house on the right 
as you descend Fiske's Hill, in Lexington, going towards Bos- 
ton. His adversary's ball perforated his powder-horn, which is 
still preserved ; but before he fired his last shot he had nearly 
expended the forty bullets with which he had set out. 

The remains of these brave men were exhumed from the 
burial-ground, where they had lain for seventy odd years, and 
placed in the tomb at the base of the monument. The graves 
were then filled up, — the gravestones being left standing to 
tell the future visitor where they had first been interred. The 
bones were found remarkably well preserved. The orifice in 
Hosmer's skull through which the ball passed while he was in 
the act of taking aim was still distinctly visible. These relics 



THE RETREAT FROM CONCORD. 409 

were carefully placed in a coffin of three compartments and laid 
away beneath the monument, while the booming of cannon 
sounded a soldier's requiem. 

Two mementos of the battles of Lexington and Concord 
may be seen in the Massachusetts Senate Chamber ; one is a 
Tower musket captured from a soldier of the 43d, the other 
the gun used by Captain John Parker on that day. These 
weapons were a legacy to the State from Theodore Parker, and 
were received by both branches of the Legislature assembled in 
joint convention. Governor Andrew made the address of pres- 
entation, during the delivery of which he exhibited much emo- 
tion, and as he concluded he pressed the barrel of the Eevo- 
lutionary firearm to his lips " with effusion. " This occurred in 
1861, when the opening events of the Rebellion presented a 
certain analogy in the Governor's mind to the teachings of 1776. 
Many applauded, while not a few were disposed to ridicule his 
patriotic fervor. 

An internecine war has raged ever since the event of 1775 
between Lexington and Concord, as to which town might claim 
the greater honor of the day. As if there were not enough and 
to spare for both ! To Lexington belongs the glory of having 
assembled the first force to oppose the march of the king's 
troops, and of the first bloody sacrifice to liberty. • At Concord 
the Americans first attacked the troops, and with numbers 
which rendered such a measure justifiable. Concord, too, was 
the object of the British expedition. The conflict raged during 
the day within the limits of six towns, each of which might 
fairly claim a portion of the credit due the whole. Tire his- 
torian will, however, treat the occurrences of the 19th of April 
as a single event, leaving to local chroniclers the care of sepa- 
rating the golden sands which make their peculiar portion of 
fame from the fused ingot. All will agree that no similar 
quantity of powder ever made so great a noise in the world as 
that burned on the Green at Lexington, and all along the old 
colonial highway. 

18 



410 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 

" All ! who could deem that foot of Indian crew 
Was near ? — yet there, with lust of murderous deeds, 
Gleamed like a basilisk from woods in view, 
The ambushed foeman's eye." 

AN hour's ride from the city by the railway brings you to 
the village of South Sudbury. After you have alighted 
at the little station, and the carriages have ceased to rumble in 
the distance, a stillness, almost painful by its contrast with the 
roar and rush of your fiery steed, settles upon hill and vale. 
If it be a warm summer's day, not a sound breaks in upon the 
silence. Your own or another's voice startles you. It is likely 
that you will not even hear the lowing of cattle, for they have 
sought some friendly shade by the margin of the brook. A 
little ripple of light follows the lightest zephyr that plays across 
the fields of bearded grain. The pastures are crisp and dry 
beneath your feet ;' the air you breathe is laden with the heated 
vapors you see playing to and fro in waves before you. Even 
chanticleer is mute, and the accustomed sounds from the barn- 
yard are seldom heard. The scene is one of nature's tranquil 
pictures. 

" Peace to the husbandman and a' his tribe." 

The village of South Sudbury lies embosomed in a little 
valley formed by considerable hills. A few houses mount the 
slope of the easternmost eminence, which is called Green Hill, 
while to the southwest of the meadows through which trickles 
the Mill or Hop Brook, rises what we call a mountain in Mas- 
sachusetts, — a well-wooded height lying partly in Framing- 
ham and still holding to its Indian name of Nobscot. The 
brook once turned the water-wheel of an ancient saw and grist 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 411 

mill at the foot of Green Hill, where it now performs the same 
office for a paper-mill. Following the railway straight on to 
the north, a mile . away the steeple of Sudbury meeting-house 
rises exactly at the point where the converging iron bands seem 
to meet in the distance. South Framingham, Wayland, Con- 
cord, and Marlborough are about equally distant. 

As for the village it is, like other country towns, fast asleep, 
except when roused by the scream of the steam-whistle, or 
brought into spasmodic activity by the recurrence of some 
national or State holiday. Pass through it at any other time, 
and you see indeed shops open and people walking about with 
their eyes wide open ; but the former are . cold and still, 
while the latter appear -to be somnambulists. Why they are 
out of doors they could not tell any more than where they 
are going, — they are impelled to movement without object or 
seeming necessity. The shops are empty. The shopman either 
stands in the doorway with his hands thrust into the lowest 
depths of his breeches-pockets, or is seen squatted on the 
threshold of his bazaar with a jack-knife in one hand and a 
pine chip, which he is listlessly whittling, in the other. On 
one side the door are arranged a group of agricultural tools, a 
board on which is chalked the market value of white beans, a 
keg of nails, and a few articles of wooden-ware. On the other 
side, suspended like a malefactor from a gibbet, is a checked 
woollen shirt above a pair of trousers having a pattern not un- 
like those worn in our public prisons. In the windows are all 
manner of things, which seem as if they had been stranded 
there by the flood ; for so old-fashioned are they that they will 
carry you back any distance your imagination is capable of. 
The shopkeeper is not looking out for customers, — that were 
indeed a hopeless employment, — but is merely killing time, 
while he of the hour-glass and scythe is slowly but surely re- 
taliating in kind. 

When this was the old post-route to Hartford and New 
York, in that ever-famous year 1775, and mine host Baker 
kept the public inn in Sudbury, the arrival of coach, post- 
chaise, or army express was the great event. If coach or 



412 HISTOEIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

post-rider happened to change horses, the scene assembled all 
the loose, idle, gaping, surplus population of the town, who 
came to stare at the horses, the coach, and the passengers. 
With what interest did they not watch the process of un- 
hitching one set of horses and the putting in of another. 
The passengers who dismount for a visit to the bar of the tav- 
ern, or a taste of mine host's viands, must run the gauntlet of 
eyes determined* not to lose their slightest movement. The 
very horses, raising their dripping muzzles from the drinking- 
trough, seem to wonder what the people can be staring at. Or 
imagine the same group assembled round the postman. Not 
one in ten ever received a letter in his lifetime, but it is indis- 
pensable that the same question should be asked, with the 
same unvarying answer. The coach gone, the rumble of wheels 
dies away, and so quiet is the place become that you can hear 
the ring of the village smith's anvil, or the squeak of some old 
well-sweep, from one end of the town to the other. 

It is but lately that Sudbury has been discovered by a rail- 
way. How much of a, luxury it is considered by the inhabi- 
tants along the line may be gathered from the circumstance 
that during our journey thither we were, with only another 
wayfarer, the sole occupants of a train of four carriages. 

The years 1675-76 were fateful ones for New England. 
The old chronicler, Hubbard, says, "It was ebbing water with 
New England at this time, and awhile after ; but God shall 
turn the stream before it be long, and bring down their ene- 
mies to lick the dust before them." Philip, the great chieftain 
of the Wampanoags, had begun hostilities with the whites, and 
for a time it looked as if he might destroy all their frontier set- 
tlements. Had he been able to effect his object of bringing all 
the savage nations into alliance, the war might have ended with 
the extermination of the pale-faces. 

Indians were everywhere. There had been no formal decla- 
ration of war, — nothing of that poetic exchange of rattlesnake- 
skin filled with arrows for the white man's powder and lead. 
There was nothing chivalric about it. The war was planned in 
secret and in treachery; the onset was sudden and wellnigh 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 413 

irresistible. The first intimation the English had that Philip 
had dug up the hatchet was in the fatal shot from an ambus- 
cade, or the war-whoop sounded in the midst of the hamlets. 
At this time the Colony could muster about four thousand foot 
and four hundred horse, without reckoning the aged or infirm. 

On their part, the whites were not more blameless than they 
now are, nearly two hundred years since, when the work of 
extinguishing the remnant of the red race is approaching the 
end. Two centuries ago the Indians were powerful enough on 
the Atlantic shore to render it doubtful for a time whether the 
English might retain a precarious foothold in the seaports. To- 
day they are hunted down among the rocky fastnesses of the 
Pacific. 

In 1675 there were, as now, Indian traders without souls, 
and Englishmen who thought as little of shooting a savage as 
of outraging a squaw. There was also the fire-water, under the 
influence of which the savage parted with his birthright, or 
made his mark at the bottom of a so-called treaty, of which he 
knew not the meaning. The English fought then for self-pres- 
ervation, which we know is nature's first law, so that we can 
well pardon them for dealing blow for blow, — and even their 
reverend teachers for preaching a crusade against the savages, 
as Dr. Mather and the clergy generally did'. The Indians — 
did they not suspect it, and did not their wise men foretell it 1 
— were also fighting for self-preservation. The law was as in- 
exorable to them as to the pale-face. Philip was living in a 
sort of vassalage which his proud spirit rebelled against. Did 
an Englishman complain of an injury from an Indian, his 
sachem was instantly cited to appear before the stranger's coun- 
cil. Did an Indian complain of the wrong of a white man, 
justice was oftentimes both blind and deaf. The Indians 
warred after a cruel fashion, certainly. They tortured the 
living and mutilated the dead. But then, after all, they were 
but savages, and it was the manner in which they had been ac- 
customed to wage Avar among themselves ; until we had civilized 
them we had little right to murmur if they did not adopt our 
style of warfare. But what did the English do 1 With the 



414 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 



Holy Scriptures in one hand, they ordered the beheading and 
scalping of their red enemies. The Quakers who refused to en- 
list were compelled to run the gauntlet in Boston streets, and 
attempts were made to break open the jails and put to death 
the Indian prisoners. There was a strong dash of heroism in 
Philip of Pokanoket, and we cannot blame him for making 
one grand effort for freedom. 

When the news came to the Massachusetts capital that the 
frontier towns were being harried, drums beat to arms, and 
stout John Leverett summoned his council together. Hench- 
man, Hutchinson, Paige, Willard, and the other captains put 
on their buff coats and belted their heavy broadswords or ra- 
piers about them. The bands were mustered. In each com- 
pany was an ensign, who bore aloft a color of red sarsenet, a 

yard square, with the 
number of the company 
in white thereon. An- 
other had a white blaze 
in the centre. Volun- 
teers were demanded, and 
even the profane seafar- 
ing men — "privateers," 
as they were called — 
were enrolled. A guard 
of musketeers was set at 
the entrance of the town. 
A busy man was John 
Fayerweather, the com- 
missary, in providing for 
the levies. With drums 
beating, trumpets bray- 
ing, and standards dis- 
played, the troops de- 
filed through the town- 
gates. A few encoun- 
ters, 'and this bravery of regular war was laid aside. This was 
almost two hundred, years ago, and yet we have lately seen 




KING PHILIP, FROM AN OLD PRINT. 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 415 

our brave men led into an Indian ambush as unwarily as they 
were in the year 1675. 

Some of the evils which a solemn session of the General 
Court, convened at Boston at this time, held to lie at the foun- 
dation of their misfortunes, were the proud excesses in apparel 
and hair of which many — " yea, and of the poorer sorte as well 
as others " — were guilty. The Quakers came in for a liberal 
share of invective. Excess in drinking, and the toleration of 
so many taverns, especially in Boston, which the townspeople 
were too much inclined to frequent, were glaring offences. It 
was urged that profane swearing had frequently been heard, 
and steps were taken to suppress and punish it. The fourth 
and fifth commandments were ordered to be better observed 
than formerly, and it was decreed that there should be no 
more such oppression by merchants or laborers as had been. 
Truly, Philip was working a social revolution among his 
enemies of Massachusetts Bay ! 

From these measures we may see that our forefathers were 
not so well satisfied with themselves as to feel sure of providen- 
tial aid in their work of killing savages ; but it is set down in 
the chronicles that on the very day when these new civil regu- 
lations were established, the English forces achieved a victory 
at Hatfield. 

During the summer and autumn of 1675 the Indians had 
almost uninterrupted success. They had ravaged the country 
from the Connecticut to the shores of Boston Bay, and a stray 
warrior had appeared within a few miles of Boston Town -House. 
In November the commissioners of Massachusetts, Plymouth, 
and Connecticut met at Boston, and agreed to raise an army of 
a thousand men, of which the Bay Colony furnished more than 
half. At the head of this force Winslow assaulted the strong- 
hold of the Narragansetts in December, inflicting a terrible de- 
feat upon that nation, and entirely breaking its power. 

The Indians resumed hostilities in the early spring of 1676. 
The English had become more circumspect ; still their losses 
were heavy, and the path of Philip's warriors could be marked 
by desolation and ruin. The whites, too, learned at length to 



416 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

make use of the Christian or Praying Indians, to act as runners 
and scouts, — a measure which we have lately seen imitated 
with advantage in the employment of the Warm Springs In- 
dians against the Modocs. 

One Sabbath, late in March, the Indians attacked Marl- 
borough, while the inhabitants were at divine worship in their 
meeting-house. The people sought the shelter of their garrison- 
houses, which were found in every settlement, leaving the 
enemy to burn the greater part of the town. Lancaster had 
previously suffered, and the tale of the captivity and redemp- 
tion of Mrs. Eowlandson furnishes a graphic chapter of these 
terrible years. 

In April Philip had assembled about four hundred of his 
followers in the neighborhood of Marlborough, and after burn- 
ing the few deserted houses they fell with fury upon Sudbury. 
A small party from Concord, coming to the assistance of their 
neighbors, were ambushed and slain. The news of the descent 
on Marlborough having reached Boston, Captain Samuel Wads- 
worth was despatched with a company of soldiers to its relief. 
Peaching Marlborough after a weary march of twenty-five miles, 
Wadsworth learned that his enemy had gone in the direction 
of Sudbury, and, after giving his men some rest and refresh- 
ment, and being, joined by Captain Brocklebank, who com- 
manded the garrison at Marlborough, he returned on his own 
footsteps in pursuit, following, tradition says, the old trail, 
afterwards the Lancaster road, now closed. 

When within what is now South Sudbury, Wadsworth saw 
about a hundred of the enemy's war-party, with whom, believ- 
ing them the main body, he endeavored to close. The Indians 
retired slowly through the woods, until Wadsworth's men were 
wholly encompassed by enemies lying in concealment, when 
the terrific war-whoop raiig through the forest, and every tree 
around the devoted band blazed with a death-shot. The Eng- 
lish, perceiving theirs to be a desperate case, fought with obsti- 
nate bravery, but were at length forced to the top of Green 
Hill, the circle of enemies all the while drawing closer around 
them. On this hill they defended themselves valiantly until 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 417 

nightfall, when some of the party, attempting to escape, were 
followed by others, until a precipitate retreat was the result. 
The Indians pursued, slaying all but thirteen or fourteen, who 
sought safety at Noyes's mill, — the same referred to in another 
place. This mill was fortified after the usual fashion of the 
garrisons, but had been abandoned by the Sudbury people. 
Believing it to be still occupied by them, the Indians did not 
venture to the assault, but withdrew to complete and celebrate 
their victory. The survivors at the mill were afterwards re- 
lieved by Captain Hugh Mason's company from Watertown, 
who approached the battle-ground by way of Mount Nobscot, 
where they left the carts containing their baggage and pro- 
visions. The Indians were still in the vicinity, but Mason did 
not feel sufficiently strong to attack them. 

The English lost, in this battle their captain, Wadsworth ; 
Sharp, their lieutenant ; and twenty-six others, besides Captain 
Brocklebank. Five or six who were captured were put to the 
torture on the night of the fight. The remains of the fallen 
Englishmen were gathered and interred near the spot where 
they fell. Over their common grave a heap of loose stones was 
piled. This humble monument was in an open field, about 
thirty rods east of the road, and near a growth of pines and 
oaks. The soil on the hill-top is light and sandy. 

With this victory Philip's onset culminated, and he began to 
drift down the tide apace. The fierce Maquas and Senecas 
attacked the undefended villages of his allies, while sickness 
and disease spread among his people. Disasters 'overtook him, 
and he became a hunted fugitive. On the 12th of August, 
1676, he fell by the hand of one of his own race, and was be- 
headed and quartered by the Plymouth authorities, — his head 
being set on a gibbet, where it was to be seen for twenty years. 

A plain slab of blue slate was raised over the remains of 
Captain Wadsworth and his ill-fated companions by his son, 
President Wadsworth, of Harvard College. It bears the follow- 
ing inscription : — 

Capt. Samuel Wadsworth of Milton, his Lieut. Sharp of Brook- 
lin, Capt. Broclebank of Kowley, with about 26 other souldiers, 
18* aa 



418 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

fighting for the defence of their country, were slain by y e Indian 
enemy, April 18th, 1676, lye buried in this place." 

In 1852 the relics were exhumed and removed a little dis- 
tance to the site of the present monument, — a plain granite 
shaft, which was dedicated by an address from Hon. George S. 
Boutwell, present Senator for Massachusetts. The old grave- 
stone is placed at the base of the monument, the tablet of 
which recites that it was erected by the Commonwealth and the 
town of Sudbury, in grateful remembrance of the services and 
sufferings of the founders of the State. The same elate is ex- 
hibited on the monument as is borne on the old slab, namely, 
April 18, 1676 ; but as this is a subject of contradiction among 
the historians of the time, the committee concluded to adhere 
to the date adopted by President Wadsworth. 

A fuller research has turned the weight of testimony, against 
the earlier date, and in favor of April 21 as the time of the 
tight. In the midst of discrepancies of this character the nar- 
rator has only to accept what is supported by the greatest num- 
ber of authorities, and these certainly are on the side of April 
21, 1676. 

In the discussion which has ensued as to the date which 
should have been placed on the Wadsworth monument, it was 
assumed by the distinguished advocate of the earlier date that 
communication with Boston was cut off by Philip between the 
17th and 20th of April. Doubts have also been expressed as to 
whether intelligence of the fight could have reached the vicinity 
of Boston on the same day. The authorities had not neglected 
so vital a matter as the arrangement of signals between the gar- 
rison attacked and the capital. The firing was, of course, dis- 
tinctly heard in the neighboring towns, and was communicated 
by alarm-guns from garrison to garrison until it reached Boston. 
In Hutchinson's History an example is given of the rapidity 
with which communication could be transmitted : — ■ 

" Sept 23 d (1676) an alarm was made in the town of Boston about 
ten in the morning, 1200 men were in arms before 11 and all dis- 
missed before 12. One that was upon guard at Mendon, 30 miles 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 419 

off, got drunk and fired his gun, the noise of which alarmed true next 
neighbors and so spread to Boston." 

Considering what were then the resources of the Colony, Sud- 
bury fight was as important in its day as a pitched battle with 
thousands of combatants would be in our own time. It occa- 
sioned great depression. The Indians must have lost heavily 
to have conducted their subsequent operations so feebly. 

Though the whites usually ventured to attack them with 
greatly inferior numbers, they were far from being contemptible 
foes. The Englishman's buff coat would sometimes turn a bul- 
let, but the Indian's breast was bared to his enemy. His 
primitive weapons, however, the bow and arrow, had been ex- 
changed for guns and hatchets, which he soon learned to use 
but too well. The Dutch on one side, or the French on another, 
kept him supplied with powder and ball. He fought for his 
hunting-grounds, now parcelled out among strangers. He fell 
to be received into the elysian fields of the great Manitou. 

We cannot forbear our tribute of pity and of admiration for 
Philip. What though he struck the war-post and chanted the 
death-song to gather his dusky warriors for one mighty effort to 
exterminate our ancestors, his cause was the same that has ever 
received the world's applause. Liberty was as sweet to Philip 
as to a Tell or a Toussaint, but he failed to achieve it, and the 
shades of oblivion have gathered around his name. There was 
a simple yet kingly dignity in Philip's communications to the 
chief men among the colonists. His neck could not bear the 
yoke ; he must walk free beneath the sun. 

Though the great chief's policy would not have left a single 
foe alive, it is known that he sent warning to some among the 
whites who had bound themselves to him by uprightness and 
honorable dealing. In that part of Taunton now known as 
Pay n ham was one of Philip's summer haunts for fishing and 
hunting. The Leonards had there erected the first forge in New 
England, if not in North America, and had there lived in amity 
with the Indian prince. They fashioned him spear and arrow- 
heads with which to strike the red-deer or the leaping salmon, 
and he repaid them with game, rich skins, and wampum. To 
them he gave a hint to look to their safety. 



420 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

It seems passing strange to be standing beside a monu- 
ment erected to commemorate a victory over our sires by a 
race wellnigh blotted out of existence. Every circumstance 
of our surroundings, every object upon which the eye dwells 
in the landscape, gives the lie to such an event. Where the 
warriors lay in ambush, green and well-tilled fields extend 
themselves ; where the old mill creaked, steam issues from its 
successor ; instead of the Indian trail the railway presents its 
iron pathway ; the rude yet massive garrison-house is replaced 
by yonder costly villa; and the simple village meeting, in 
which the settlers fearfully pursued their devotions with arms 
in their hands, is renewed where we see the distant and lofty 
spire. The virgin forests have disappeared as completely as 
have the fed-men who threaded the greenwood. All nature is 
at work for man where once all Was repose. Only the hills and 
the stream remain as pressed by the moccason or cleft by the 
canoe. 

In Pilgrim Hall, at Plymouth, the stranger is shown some 
memorials of Philip. The barrel of the gun through which the 
bullet passed to his heart, and the curiously woven helmet 
which he is said to have worn, are there displayed among the 
bones and implements of his race. As yet we lack, here in 
New England, a museum devoted to Indian antiquities, in 
which we might see the dress, arms, and utensils of the natives 
of the soil. It would be a most interesting collection. They 
were no effete Asiatics, but a brave, warlike, hardy people. 
Their history is rilled with poetry and romance. Even Cooper, 
while presenting in a Magua the wild, untamable, vindictive 
savage, depicts on the same scene an Uncas brave, noble, and 
devoted. 

About three miles from Sudbury Mills and four from Marl- 
borough is the old Wayside Inn, which Longfellow has made 
famous. It stands in a sequestered nook among the hills which 
upheave the neighboring region like ocean billows. Eor nearly 
two hundred years, during the greater part of which it has been 
occupied as a tavern, this ancient hostelry has stood here with 
its door hospitably open to wayfarers. 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP S WAR. 



421 



In the olden time the road possessed the importance of a 
much-travelled highway. At present the house is like a waif 
on the seashore, left high and dry by some mighty tide, or a 
landmark which shows where the current of travel once flowed. 
Its distance from the capital made it a convenient halting-place 
for travellers going into or returning from Boston. Its reputa- 
tion for good cheer was second to none in all the Bay Colony. 

" As ancient is this hostelry 
As any in the land may be, 
Built in the old Colonial day, 
When men lived in a grander way, 
With ampler hospitality." 

The name of the house was the Eed Horse, and at the other 
end of the route, belonging to the same family, in rivalry of 
good cheer, was the White Horse 
in Old Boston Town. The horse 
has always been a favorite symbol 
with publicans. However tedious 
the way may have been, however 
shambling or void of spirit your 
hackney of the road, the steed on 
the hostel sign always pranced 
proudly, was of high mettle, and 
of as gallant carriage as was ever 

T -, -. c > "I • "I 1 SIGN OF THE WAYSIDE INN. 

blazoned on baxon s shield. 

The Eed Horse in Sudbury was built about 1686. From 
the year 1714 to near, if not quite, the completion of a cen- 
tury and a half, it was kept as an inn by generation after gen- 
eration of the Howes, the last being Lyman Howe, who served 
the guests of the house from 1831 until about 1860. The 
tavern stood about half-way on the great road to Worces- 
ter, measuring twenty-three good English miles from Boston 
Town-House. 

Well, those were good old times, after all. A traveller, after 
a hard day's jaunt, pulls up at the Eed Horse. The landlord 
is at the door, hat in hand, with a cheery welcome, and a shout 
to the blacks to care for the stranger's beast. Is it winter, a 




422 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

mimic conflagration roars on the hearth. A bowl of punch is 
brewed, smoking hot. The guest, nothing loath, swallows the 
mixture, heaves a deep sigh, and declares himself better for 
a thousand pounds. Soon there comes a summons to table, 
where good wholesome roast-beef, done to that perfection of 
which the turnspit only was capable, roasted potatoes with 
their russet jackets brown and crisp, and a loaf as white as the 
landlady's Sunday cap send up an appetizing odor. Our guest 
falls to. Hunger is a good trencherman, and he would have 
scorned your modern tidbits, — jellies, truffles, and pates afois 
gras. Tor drink, the well was deep, the water pure and spark- 
ling, but home-brewed ale or cider was at the guest's elbow, 
and a cup of chocolate finished his repast. He begins to be 
drowsy, and is lighted to an upper chamber by some pretty 
maid-of-all-work, who, finding her pouting lips in danger, is 
perhaps compelled to stand on the defensive with the warm- 
ing-pan she has but now so dexterously passed between the 
frigid sheets. At parting, Boniface holds his guest's stirrup, 
warns him of the ford or the morass, and bids him good speed. 
Our modern landlord is a person whose existence we take 
upon trust. He is never seen by the casual guest, and if he 
were, is far too great a man for common mortals to expect 
speech of him. He sits in a parlor, with messengers, perhaps 
the telegraph, at his beck and call. His feet rest on velvet, 
his body reclines on air-cushions. You must at least be an 
English milord, a Eussian prince, or an American Senator, to 
receive the notice of such a magnate. It is a grave question 
whether he knows what his guests are eating, or if, in case of 
fire, their safety is secured. His bank-book occupies his undi- 
vided attention. " Like master, like man." Your existence is 
all but ignored by the lesser gentry. You fee the boot-black, 
tip the Waiter, drop a douceur into the chambermaid's palm, 
and, at your departure, receive a vacant stare from the curled, 
mustached personage who hands you your bill. At entering 
one of these huge caravansaries you feel your individuality lost, 
your identity gone, in the living throng. Neglected, heavy- 
hearted, but lighter, far lighter in purse than when you came, 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 423 

you pass out under a marble portico and drift away with the 
stream. Give, publican, the stranger a welcome, a shake of 
the hand, a nod at parting, and put it in the bill. 

Coming from the direction of Marlborough, at a little dis- 
tance, the gambrel roof of the Wayside Inn peeps above a dense 
mass of foliage. A sharp turn of the road, which once passed 
under a triumphal arch composed of two lordly elms, and you 
are before the house itself. On the other side the broad space 
left for the road are the capacious barns and outhouses belong- 
ing to the establishment, and standing there like a blazed tree 
in a clearing, but bereft of its ancient symbol, the sight of 
which gladdened the hearts of many a weary traveller, is also 
the old sign-post. 

The interior of the inn is spacious and cool, as was suited to 
a haven of rest. A dozen apartments of one of our modern 
hotels could be set up within the space allotted to his patrons 
by mine host of the Wayside. Escaping from a cramped stage- 
coach, or the heat of a July day, our visitor's lungs would here 
begin to expand " like chanticleer," as, flinging his flaxen wig 
into a corner, and hanging his broad-flapped coat on a peg, he 
sits unbraced, with a bowl of the jolly landlord's extra-brewed 
in one hand, and a long clay pipe in the other, master of the 
situation. 

Everything remains as of old. There is the bar in one corner 
of the common room, with its wooden portcullis, made to be 
hoisted or let down at pleasure, but over which never appeared 
that ominous announcement, " Xo liquors sold over this bar." 
The little desk where the tipplers' score was set down, and the 
old escritoire, looking as if it might have come from some hos- 
pital for decayed and battered furniture, are there now. The 
bare floor, which once received its regular morning sprinkling 
of clean white sea-sand, the bare beams and timbers overhead, 
from which the whitewash has fallen in flakes, and the very 
oak of which is seasoned with the spicy vapors steaming from 
pewter flagons, all remind us of the good old days before the 
flood of new ideas. Governors, magistrates, generals, with 
scores of others whose names are remembered with honor, have 
been here to quaff a health or indulge in a drinking-bout. 



4:24 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

In the guests' room, on the left of the entrance, the window- 
pane bears the following recommendation, cut with a gem that 
sparkled on the finger of that young roysterer, William Moli- 
neux, Jr., whose father was the man that walked beside the 
king's troops in Boston, to save them from the insults of the 
townspeople, — the friend of Otis and of John Adams : — 

'' What do you think 
Here is good drink 
Perhaps you may not know it ; 
If not in haste do stop and taste 
You merry folks will shew it. 

Wm. Molineux Jr. Esq. 
24th June 1774 Boston." 

The writer's hand became unsteady at the last line, and it 
looks as though his rhyme had halted while he turned to some 
companion for a hint, or, what is perhaps more likely, here gave 
manual evidence of the potency of his draughts. 

A ramble through the house awakens many memories. You 
are shown the travellers' room, which they of lesser note occu- 
pied in common, and the state chamber where "Washington and 
Lafayette are said to have rested. In the garret the slaves were 
accommodated, and the crooknecks and red peppers hung from 
the rafters. Unfortunately, the old blazonry and other inter- 
esting family memorials have disappeared under the auctioneer's 
hammer. 

Conducted by the presiding genius of the place, Mrs. Dad- 
mun, we passed from room to room and into the dance-hall, 
annexed to the ancient building. The dais at the end for 
the fiddlers, the wooden benches fixed to the walls, the floor 
smoothly polished by many joyous feet, and the modest effort 
at ornament, displayed the theatre where many a long winter's 
night had worn away into the morn ere the company dispersed 
to their beds, or the jangle of bells on the frosty air betokened 
the departure of the last of the country belles. The German 
was unknown ; Polka,, Eedowa, Lancers, were not ; but contra- 
dances, cotillons, and minuets were measured by dainty feet, 
and the landlord's wooden lattice remained triced up the livelong 



A FRAGMENT OF KING PHILIP'S WAR. 425 

night. the amorous glances, the laughter, the bright eyes, and 
the bashful whispers that these walls have seen and listened to, 
— and the actors all dead and buried ! The place is silent now, 
and there is no music, except you hear through the open win- 
dows the flute-like notes of the wood-thrush where he sits 
carolling a love-ditty to his mate. 

The road on which stands the old inn first became a regular 
post-route about 1711, a mail being then carried over it twice 
a week to New York. But as early as 1704, the year of the 
publication of the first newspaper in America, there was a west- 
ern post carried with greater or less regularity, and travellers 
availed themselves of the post-rider's company over a tedious, 
dreary, and ofttimes hazardous road. 

We have the journal of Madam Knight, of a journey made 
by her in 1704, to New Haven, with no other escort than the 
post-rider, — an undertaking of which we can now form little 
conception. She left Boston on the 2d of October, and 
reached her destination on the 7th. The details of some 
of her trials appear sufficiently ludicrous. For example, she 
reached, after dark, the first night, a tavern where the post 
usually lodged. On entering the house, she was interrogated 
by a young woman of the family after this fashion : — 

" Law for mee — what in the world brings You 'here at this time 
a night. I never see a woman on the Rode so Dreadfull late in all 
the days of my versall life. Who are You? Where are You 
going 1 I 'm scaled out of my wits." 

Who that has ever travelled an unknown route, finding the 
farther he advanced, the farther, to all appearances, he was from 
his journey's end, or whoever, finding himself baffled, has at 
last inquired his way of some boor, will deeply sympathize 
with the tale of the poor lady's woes. At the last stage of her 
route, the guide being unacquainted with the way, she asked 
and received direction from some she met. 

" They told us we must Ride a mile or two and turne d'owne a 
Lane on the Right hand ; and by their Direction wee Rode on, but 
not Yet coming to y e turning, we mett a Young fellow and ask't him 



426 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

how far it was to the Lane which turn'd down towards Guilford. 
Hee said wee muse Ride a little further and turn down by the 
Corner of uncle Sam's Lott. My Guide vented his spleen at the 
Lubber." 

No wonder that when safe at home again in Old Boston, she 
wrote on a pane of glass in the house that afterwards became 
that of Dr. Samuel Mather, — 

" Now I 've returned poor Sarah Knights, 
Thro' many toils and many frights ; 
Over great rocks and many stones, 
God has presarv'd from fracter'd bones." 

The use of coaches was introduced into England by Fitz 
Alan, Earl of Arundel, A. D. 1580. At first they were drawn 
by two horses only. It was Buckingham, the favorite, who 
(about 1619) began to have them drawn by six horses, which, 
as an old historian says, was wondered at as a novelty, and 
imputed to him a " mastering pride." Captain Levi Pease was 
the first man to, put on a regular stage between Boston and 
Hartford, about 1784. 

The first post-route to New York, over which Madam 
Knight travelled in 1704, went by the way of Providence, 
Stonington, New London, and the shore of Long Island 
Sound. The distance was 255 miles. We subjoin the itin- 
erary of the road as far as Providence : — 

" From Boston South-end to Eoxbury Meeting-house 2 miles, 
thence to Mr. Fisher's at Dedham 9, thence to Mr. Whites * 6, to 
Mr. Billings 7, to Mr. Shepard's at Wading River 7, thence to Mr. 
Woodcock's t 3, from thence to Mr. Turpins at Providence 14, or to 
the Sign of the Bear at Seaconck 10, thence to Providence 4, to 
Mr. Potters in said town 8." 

* Stoughton. *f* Attlehorough. 



THE HOME OF RUMFORD. • 427 



CHAPTEE XX. 

THE HOME OF RUMFORD. 

" Fortune does not change men, it only unmasks them." 

rTIHE world knows by heart the career of this extraordinary 
_L man. Sated with honors, he died at Auteuil, near Paris, 
August 21, 1814. Titles, decorations, and the honorary dis- 
tinctions of learned societies flowed in upon the poor Ameri- 
can youth such as have seldom fallen to the lot of one risen 
from the ranks of the people. The antecedents and character 
of the man have very naturally given rise to much inquiry and 
speculation. 

Benjamin Thompson was born in the west end of his grand- 
father's house in North Woburn, March 26, 1753. The room 
where he first drew breath is on the left of the entrance, and 
on the first floor. As for the house, it is a plain, old-fashioned, 
two-story farm-house, with a gambrel roof, out of which is 
thrust one of those immense chimneys of great breadth and 
solidity. A large willow which formerly stood between the 
house and the road has disappeared, and is no longer a guide to 
the spot. This ancient dwelling has a pleasant situation on a 
little rising ground back from the road, which here embraces in 
its sweep the old house and the queer little meeting-house, its 
neighbor. 

A pretty little maiden deftly binding shoes, and an elderly 
female companion who had passed twenty years of her life under 
this roof, were the occupants of the apartment in which Count 
Pumford was born. A Connecticut clock, which ticked noisily 
above the old fireplace, and a bureau, the heirloom of several 
generations, were two very dissimilar objects among the fur- 
niture of the room. There are no relics of the Thompsons 
remaining there. 



428 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

The father of our subject died while Benjamin was yet an 
infant, and the widowed mother made a second marriage with 
Josiah Pierce, Jr., of Woburn, when the future Count of the 
Holy Roman Empire was only three years old. After this 
event Mrs. Pierce removed from the old house to another which 
formerly stood opposite the Baldwin Place, half a mile nearer 
the centre of Woburn. 

At the age of thirteen young Thompson was apprenticed to 
John Appleton, a shopkeeper of Salem, Massachusetts, and in 
1769 he entered the employment of Hopestill Capen in Boston. 
While at Salem, Thompson was engaged during his leisure 
moments in experiments in chemistry and mechanics, and it is 
recorded that in one branch of science he one day blew himself 
up with some explosive materials he was preparing, while on 
the other hand he walked one night from Salem to Woburn, a 
distance of twenty odd miles, to exhibit to his friend Loammi 
Baldwin a machine he had contrived, and with which he ex- 
pected to illustrate the problem of perpetual motion. His mind 
appears at this period absorbed in these fascinating studies to 
an extent which must have impaired his usef illness in his mas- 
ter's shop. 

A few doors south of Boston Stone every one may see an 
antiquated building of red brick, a souvenir of the old town, 
which was standing here long before the Revolution. Strange 
freaks have been playing in its vicinity since Benjamin Thomp- 
son tended behind the counter there. The canal at the back 
has been changed into solid earth, and sails are no more 
seen mysteriously gliding through the streets from the harbor 
to the Mill-pond. The facsimile of Sir Thomas Gresham's 
grasshopper, on the pinnacle of Faneuil Hall, is about the 
only object left in the neighborhood familiar to the eye of 
the apprentice, who, we may assume, would not have been 
absent from the memorable convocations which were held 
within the walls of the old temple in his day. The build- 
ing with which Rumford's name is thus connected forms 
the angle where Marshall's Lane enters Union Street, and 
bears the sign of the descendant of the second oysterman 



THE HOME OF RUMFORD. 429 

in Boston, himself for fifty years a vender of the delicious 
bivalve. 

Thompson's master, Hopestill Capen, becomes a public char- 
acter through his apprentice, whom he may still have regarded 
as of little advantage in the shop by reason of. his strongly 
developed scientific vagaries. Capen had been a carpenter, 
with whom that good soldier, Lemuel Trescott, served his 
time. He married an old maid who kept a little dry-goods 
store in Union Street, and then, uniting matrimony and trade 
in one harmonious partnership, abandoned tools and joined his 
wife in the shop. Samuel Parkman, afterwards a well-known 
Boston merchant, was Thompson's fellow-apprentice. The 
famous Tommy Capen succeeded to the shop and enjoyed its 
custom. 

Thompson, at nineteen, went to Concord, New Hampshire, 
then known as Bumford, and from which his titular designation 
was taken. At this time he was described as of " a fine manly 
make and figure, nearly six feet in height, of handsome fea- 
tures, bright blue eyes, and dark auburn hair." He soon after 
married the widow of Colonel Benjamin Bolfe, a lady ten or a 
dozen years his senior. Bumford himself is reported by his 
friend Pictet as having said, " I married, or rather I was mar- 
ried, at the age of nineteen." One child, a daughter, was the 
result of this marriage. She was afterwards known as Sarah, 
Countess of Bumford. 

If Bumford meant to convey to Pictet the idea that his union 
with Mrs. Bolfe was a merely passive act on his part, or that she 
was the wooer and he only the consenting party, he put in a 
plea for his subsequent neglect which draws but little on our 
sympathy. His wife, according to his biographers, took him 
to Boston, clothed him in scarlet, and was the means of intro- 
ducing him to the magnates of the Colony. 

The idea forces itself into view that at this time Bumford's 
ambition was beginning to develop into the moving principle 
of his life. The society and notice of his superiors in worldly 
station appears to have impressed him greatly, and it is evident 
that the agitation which wide differences with the mother 



430 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

country was then causing in the Colonies did not find in him 
that active sympathy which was the rule with the young and 
ardent spirits of his own age. He grew up in the midst of 
troubles which moulded the men of the Eevolution, and at a 
time when not to be" with his brethren was to be against them. 
We seldom look in a great national crisis for hesitation or de- 
liberation at twenty-one. 

Certain it is that Eumford fell under the suspicions of his 
own friends and neighbors as being inclined to the royalist 
side. He met the accusation boldly, and as no specific charges 
of importance were made against him, nothing was proven. 
The feeling against him, however, was so strong that he fled 
from his home to escape personal violence, taking refuge at 
first at his mother's home in Woburn, and subsequently at 
Charlestown. 

Thompson was arrested by the Woburn authorities after the 
battle of Lexington, was examined, and released ; but the taint 
of suspicion still clung to him. He petitioned the Provincial 
Congress to investigate the charges against him, but they re- 
fused to consider the application. He remained in the vicinity 
of the camps at Cambridge, vainly endeavoring to procure a 
commission in the service of the Colony, until October, 1775, 
when he suddenly took his departure, and is next heard of 
within the enemy's lines at Boston. 

In the short time intervening between October and March, 
— the month in which Howe's forces evacuated Boston, — 
Thompson had acquired such a confidential relation with that 
general as to be made the bearer of the official news of the end 
of the siege to Lord George Germaine. He does not seem to 
have embraced the opportunity of remaining neutral under 
British protection, as did hundreds of others, but at once 
makes himself serviceable, and casts his lot with the British 
army. 

It has been well said that nothing can justify a man in be- 
coming a traitor to his country. Thompson's situation with 
the army at Cambridge must have been wellnigh intolerable, 
but he had always the alternative of living down the clamors 



THE HOME OF EUMFORD. 431 

against him, or of going into voluntary exile. His choice 
of a course which enabled him to do the most harm to the 
cause of his countrymen gives good reason to doubt whether 
the attachment he had once professed for their quarrel was 
grounded on any fixed principles. Be that as it may, from 
the time he clandestinely withdrew from the Americans 
until the end of the war his talents and knowledge were 
directed to their overthrow with- all the zeal of which he was 
capable. 

From this point Eumford's career is a matter of history. At 
his death he was a count of the Holy Roman Empire, lieuten- 
ant-general in the service of Bavaria, F. R. S., Foreign FeUow 
of the French Institute, besides being a knight of the orders of 
St. Stanislaus and of the White Eagle. 

Rumford had derived some advantage from his attendance at 
the lectures of Professor Winthrop, of Harvard University, on 
Natural Philosophy. With his friend, Loammi Baldwin, he 
had been accustomed to walk from Woburn to Cambridge to 
be present at these lectures. Being at the camp, he had assisted 
in packing up the apparatus for removal when the College 
buildings were occupied by the soldiery. In his will he re- 
membered the University by a legacy of a thousand dollars 
annuaUy, besides the reversion of other sums, for the purpose 
of founding a professorship in the physical and mathematical 
sciences, the improvement of the useful arts, and for the exten- 
sion of industry, prosperity, and the weU-being of society. 
Jacob Bigelow, M. D., was the first incumbent of the chair of 
this professorship. 

A miniature of Count Rumford, from which the portrait in 
Sparks's Biography was engraved, is now in the possession of 
George W. Pierce, Esq. The Count is painted in a blue coat, 
across which is worn a broad blue ribbon. A decoration ap- 
pears on the left breast. The miniature, a work of much 
artistic excellence, bears a certain resemblance to the late Presi- 
dent Pierce, a distant relative of the Count. It is a copy from 
a portrait painted by Kellenhofer of Munich, in 1792, and is 
inscribed on the back, probably in Rumford's own hand, " Pre- 



432 HISTORIC FIELDS AND MANSIONS OF MIDDLESEX. 

sented by Count Kumford to his much loved and respected 
mother 1799." 

Colonel Loammi Baldwin, the companion of Thompson in 
early youth, and who manfully stood up for his friend in the 
midst of persecution, when the name of tory was of itself suffi- 
cient to cause the severance of life-long attachments, lived in 
the large square house on the west side of the road before you 
come to the birthplace of Thompson. The house has three 
stories, is ornamented with pillars at each corner, and has a 
balustrade around the roof. In front is a row of fine elms, with 
space for a carriage- drive between them and the mansion. The 
house co aid not be mistaken for anything else than the country- 
seat of one of the town notabilities. 

Baldwin's sympathies were wholly on the side of the patri- 
ots, and he was at once found in the ranks of their army. He 
was at Lexington, at the siege of Boston, and in the surprise at 
Trenton, where a battalion of his regiment, the 26th Massachu- 
setts, went into action "with sixteen officers and one hundred 
and ninety men. Wesson, Baldwin's lieutenant-colonel, and 
Isaac Sherman, his major, were, both in this battle, leading 
Mighell's, Badlam's, and Robinson's companies. 

Colonel Baldwin resigned before the close of the war, and 
was appointed High Sheriff of Middlesex in 1780. He has 
already been named in connection with his great project, the 
Middlesex Canal. He discovered and improved the apple 
known by his name, and if that excellent gift of Pomona is 
king among fruits, the Baldwin is monarch of the orchard. His 
son Loammi inherited his father's mechanical genius. While 
a student at Harvard he made with his pocket-knife a wooden 
clock, the wonder of his fellow-collegians. The Western Ave- 
nue, formerly the Mill Dam, in Boston, and the government 
docks at Charlestown and Newport, are monuments of his skill 
as an engineer. 

Woburn was originally an appanage of ancient Charlestown, 
and was settled in 1640 under the name* of Charlestown Til- 
lage. Among its founders the name of Thomas Graves — the 
same whom Cromwell named a rear-admiral — appears. A 



THE HOME OF RUMFORD. 433 

confusion, not likely to be solved, exists as to whether he was 
the same Thomas Graves who laid out Charlestown in 1629, 
and is known as the engineer. The admiral, however, is en- 
titled to the distinction of having commanded, in 1643, the 
" Tryal," the first ship built in Boston. 

" Our revels now are ended ; these our actors, 
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and 
Are melted into air, into thin air ; 
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, 
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, 
And like this insubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a rack behind. " 



19 BB 



INDEX 



Adams, Hannah, 337. 

Adams, John, 68, 337. 

Adams, John Quincy, 226. 

Adams, Samuel, at Lexington, 365-368. 

Alcott, A. Bronson, his residence and 

family, 376-378. 
Alcott, Louisa May, 378. 
Alcott, May, 378. 
Aldrieh, Thomas Bailey, 318. 
Allston, Washington, residence at 

Cambridge, 193 ; works of, 193, 194 ; 

burial-place, 279. 
Amory, Thomas C, 93. 
Anchor, the history of, 39. 
Andrew, John A., 409. 
Appleton, Nathaniel, 215. 
Apthorp, East, 197, 273, 274. 
Arlington, incidents of battle at, 398 - 

405. 
Arnold, Benedict, at Bemis's Heights, 

133 ; at Cambridge, 257 ; anecdotes 

of, 258, 272, 309. 
Artillery, American, 152-155. 
Auvergne, Philip d', 358. 

B. 

Baldwin, Loammi, 81, 431, 432. 

Baldwin, Loammi, Jr., 40. 

Baldwin, Captain Jonathan, 187. 

Ballard, John, anecdote of, 354. 

Barker, Josiah, residence of, 28 ; re- 
builds Constitution, 40; sketch of, 41. 

Barrell, Joseph, 172, 177, 178. 

Batchelder, Samuel, 283 ; residence of, 
285. 

Baylor, George, 300. 

Bayonet, history of the, 247. 



Belcher, Andrew, 214. 

Belcher, Governor Jonathan, death and 

burial, 279 ; residence of, 285, 286. 
Belknap, Dr. Jeremy, 68. 
Bennington battle, incidents of,126, 127; 

trophies of, 128, 129; prisoners, 128. 
Bernard, Governor Francis, 228. 
Bigelow, Dr. Jacob, 330, 338. 
Bird, Joseph, 346. 
Bissell Trial, 397. 
Bond, George P., 201. 
Borland, John, 197. 
Boston, blockade of, in 1781, 35 ; naval 

battle in harbor, 35 ; Grenadiers, 

178 ; bombardment of, 181, 182 ; 

relics of siege, 265. 
Boston Frigate, armament of, 34. 
Bourne, Nehemiah, 12. 
Boutwell, George S., 418. 
Boylston, Nicholas, 225, 226. 
Bradstreet, Governor Simon, 351. 
Branding, examples of, 171. 
Brattle's Mall, 280, 281. 
Brattle Street Church (Boston), ball 

in, 182. 
Brattle, Thomas, 281. 
Brattle, Thomas, son of William, 281, 

282. 
Brattle, William, 281. 
Bray, Major John, 97, 184. 
Brimmer, George W., 338. 
Brocklebank, Captain, 416, 417. 
Brooks, Governor John, residence and 

sketch of, 133, 134. 
Bunker, George, 80. 
Bunker Hill Monument, history of, 

73-79. 
Bunker (Breed's) Hill, battle of, 

British landing-place, 48, 49 ; Brit- 



436 



INDEX. 



ish regiments engaged, 53 ; losses 
in, 56, 57 ; anecdotes of, 56-60 ; 
Trumbull's picture, 60 ; question of 
command, 60 - 63 ; anecdotes of, 64, 
65; redoubts, etc., 65, 66; disap- 
pearance of, 66 ; anomalous author- 
ity of American officers, 66 - 68 ; ac- 
counts of, 70 - 73 ; American hos- 
pital, 71; prisoners, 71; slaughter 
of British officers, 72, 73; Bunker 
Hill proper fortified, 80, 81. 

Burbeck, Captain Henry, 173. 

Burgoyne, General John, in Boston, 
59; arrives at Cambridge, 158 ; re- 
turns to England, 165; residence in 
Cambridge, 197. 

Burr, Aaron, anecdotes of, 104, 105. 

Buttrick, John, 381. 



Cambridge, fortifications, 180 - 187, 
213, 243, 244; settlement of, 195, 
196 ; first church, 211, 212; Ferry, 
212 ; topography of, 212, 213; Court- 
House, 217 ; camps at, 245; Com- 
mon, 245 et seq.; old burial-place, 
276-280. 

Campbell, Colonel Archibald, 89 ; 
imprisoned at Concord, 382, 383. 

Capen, Hopestill, 428. 

Carter, Robert, 323. ' 

Cartwright, Cuff, 358. 

Cipher of United States, origin of, 47. 

Channing, W. E., 200. 

Chardon, Peter, 181. 

Charles River, named, 2; bridged, 3-5. 

Charles River Bridge, projected, 3 ; 
built and opened, 4, 5 ; building 
committee, 6. 

Charlestown Lane, 357. 

Charlestown Ferry established and 
granted to Harvard College, 5 ; ex- 
change of prisoners at, 8, 9. 

Charlestown, topography and settle- 
ment, 8 ; dispersion of inhabitants, 
8 ; site of the "Great House" and 
first ordinary in, 9 ; old burial-place, 
11 ; distinguished citizens of, 10. 

Christ Church (Boston), bells of, 52. 

Christ Church (Cambridge), 273-276. 



Church, Dr. Benjamin, residence of, 
286; his treason, 287, 288. 

Chelsea Bridge, built, 7. 

Claflin, William, residence of, 351. 

Claghorn, Colonel George, constructs 
frigate Constitution, 29. 

Clap, Preserved, 154. 

Clarke, James Freeman, 352. 

Clarke, Samuel, 352. 

Clarke, Samuel C, 352. 

Clark's House (Lexington), 364 ; occu- 
pied by Hancock and Adams, 365. 

Clark, Rev. Jonas, 363, 367. 

Cleaveland, Colonel, 183. 

Clinton, General Sir Henry, 80. 

Cobble Hill (McLean Asylum), forti- 
fied, 172 ; prisoners on, 177; Barrell's 
palace, 177 ; Insane Asylum, 178. 

Codman, Captain John, murder of, 
169, 170. 

Coffin, John, at Bunker Hill, 57. 

Colonial Army, early composition of, 
246; in 1775, 247-254; location of 
regiments, 249 ; roster in Cambridge, 
250 ; flag of, 251, 252 : punishments, 
252 ; uniform, 253, 254. 

Committee of Safety, rendezvous of, 
257. 

Concord, 371-394; approach to, 372, 
373; topography in 1775, 380-383 ; 
Old Court House, 380; grist-mill 
and jail, 381; mill-pond, 383; Old 
Hubbard. House, 384 ; hill burial- 
ground, 385 ; battle monument, 387 
-389; named, 389; Old Manse, 389 
-392; retreat from, 393, 394; Mer- 
riam's Corner, 393. 

Constitution, frigate, incident of her 
building, 29, 30; cruise in the East 
Indies, 30; conflict with the Guer- 
riere, 32, 33; rebuilt in Charlestown, 
40; story of the figure-head, 41-44; 
action with the Java, 47 ; has the 
first made mast in our navy, 47 ; 
memorials of, 50 ; lines to, 363. 

Convent of St. Ursula, 91 - 95. . ^ 

Convention troops, march to Rutland, ' 3 ^\ 
163; barracks sk, described, 164 ; 
march to Virginia, 165. 

Cook, John, residence of, 348. 



INDEX. 



437 



Coolidge, Charles, 378. 

Coolidge, Joseph, 378.' 

Copley, John S., works of, 225. 

Copper sheathing, origin of, 47. 

Cox, Lemuel, builds Charles River 
Bridge, 3, 4 ; sketch of, 6. 

Cradock's Fort, 134. 

Cradock, Governor Matthew, 134, 135, 
136; dies, 139. 

Craigie, Andrew, 179. 

Cresap, Michael, 88. 

Curtis, George William, 379, 380. 

Cushman ; Charlotte, birthplace of, 22; 
anecdotes of early life, 22 ; first ap- 
pearance in public, 22 ; studies for 
the stage, 23; debut in London, 23, 
24 ; Cushman School, 25. 



Dana Hill, 199; mansion, 200. 

Dana, Judge Francis, 200. 

Dana, Richard H., 200. 

Dane, Nathan, 218, 219. 

Davis, Isaac, killed, 408. 

Davis, Judge John, residence of, 59. 

Dawes, Major Thomas, 173. 

Daye, Stephen, 224. 

Dearborn, General Henry, 105 ; at 
Monmouth, 106. 

Derby, George H., 380. 

Derby, Richard, 370. 

Dewey, Samuel P., exploit with Con- 
stitution's figure-head, 41 - 44. 

Dickerson, Mahlon, 43, 44. 

Dickinson, Edward, 193. 

Dirty Marsh, 27. 

Doncaster, England, night surprise at, 
12, 13. 

Dorchester Heights, occupation of, pro- 
posed, 260, 261. 

Downer, Eliphalet, duel with the regu- 
lar, 399. 

Downing, Sir George, 238. 

Dudley, Thomas, residence of, 112. 

Duer, William, 303. 

Dunster, Henry, 211. 

E. 

Edes, Benjamin, printing-office of, 347, 
348. 



Edes, Thomas, 19. 

Ellsworth, Annie G., dic.tates first tel- 
egraphic message, 21. 
Emerson, Rev. William, 389. 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 378, 379. 
Essex Bridge built, 6. 
Eustis, William, burial-place of, 370. 
Everett, Edward, 11, 80," 210, 211. 

F. 

Fayer weather, John, 414. 

Fayerweather, Thomas, 316. 

Fife, the, introduced into British army, 

248. 
First church (Cambridge), sites of, 211, 

212; Provincial Congress sits in, 215. 
Flags of truce, methods of conducting 

before Boston, 86, 87. 
Flucker, Thomas, 63. 
Foot of the Rocks, 359. 
Fox, Jabez, residence of, 256. 
Fraser, Simon, 382. 
Fresh Pond, 340; ice-traffic of, 344, 345. 
Fuller, Abraham, 351. 
Fuller, Joseph, 351. 
Fuller, John, 351. 
Fuller, Sarah, 351. 
Fuller, Sarah Margaret, birthplace of, 

192. 
Funeral customs, 331 - 333. 

G. 

Gage, General Thomas, 8, 63, 356. 

Gardiner, Rev. J. S. J., anecdote of, 18. 

Gates, General Horatio, 104, 299. 

Gergeroux, Marquis de, banquet to, 36. 

Gerry, Elbridge, 317, 320. 

Gerrymander, history of the, 320 - 322. 

Gibbeting, instances of, 169, 170. 

Gibbet in Middlesex, location of, 170. 

Gibbs, Major Caleb, Washington's re- 
buke of, 15, 27 ; commands Life 
Guard, 308. 

Gilbert, John, birthplace of, 22. 

Glover, Colonel John, quarters of, 292- 
294. 

Gookin, Daniel, 200. 

Gordon, Rev. William, 347. 

Gorham, Nathaniel, sketch of, 14-16. 



438 



INDEX. 



Graves, Samuel, 358. 

Graves, Thomas, 4-32. 

Greene, Catharine, Eli Whitney a 'pro- 
tege of, 152. 

Greene, General Nathaniel, Knox's 
opinion of, 149 ; camp on Prospect 
Hill, 149 ; trial of Andre, 150 ; money 
embarrassments, 150, 151, 272. 

Green, Samuel, 224. 

Gridley, Colonel Richard, 187. 

H. 

Haldimand, General, 355. 

Hamilton, Alexander, 300. 

Hancock Frigate, armament of, 34. 

Hancock, John, at Lexington, 365- 
370. 

Hancock, Thomas, 225, 368. 

Hand, General Edward, 90. 

Harrington, Jonathan, 361. 

Harrington, Daniel, 361. 

Harris, Lord George, at Bunker Hill, 

, 56,'57. 

Hartt, Edmund, r naval yard of,, 27. 

Harvard College, Charlestown Ferry 
granted to, 5 ; first.observatory, 201 ; 
Fellows' Orchard,. 201; Gore Hall, 
201 ; College libraries, 201 - 206 ; 
President's house, 206-212; Dane 
Hall, 218; early accounts, 221, 222, 
229; enclosures, 222; building and 
sites of old Halls, 223; College Press, 
223, 224; Massachusetts, 224, 225; 
, P6rtrait Gallery, 225, 226; lotteries, 
226, 227; buildings used for bar- 
racks, 227; Harvard, 227, 228; Hol- 
lis, 229; Holden Chapel, 229, 230; 
Holworthy, 230; University Hall, 
230; customs, 232, 233; .clubs, 234: 
Commencement, 234, 235; dress of 
students, 235, 236; Oxford caps, 

237, 238; distinguished graduates, 

238. 239; historic associations, 240, 
241 ; outbreaks of students, 241, 242; 
American works, 243, 244; seal, 242. 

Harvard, John, 10 ; library and monu- 
ment, 11. 
Hastings, Jonathan, 256. 
Hastings, Rebecca, 261. 
Hastings, Walter, 256, 257. 



Hawthorne, Nathaniel, residence in 
Concord, 373, 391. 

Henley, Colonel David, court-martial 
of, 160; sketch of, 161, 162. 

Hessians, appearance of, 158 ; uniform 
and colors, 315, 316. 

Hewes, Shubael, 271. 

Hollis, Thomas, 226. 

Holmes, Abiel, 262. 

Holmes, O. W., 254, 262. 

Hopkins, Commander Ezekiel, per- 
sonal appearance of, 38. 

Hoppin, Rev. Nicholas, 275. 

Hosmer, Abner, 408. 

Hovey, C. M., 186. 

Howard, Caroline, 324. 

Howard, Samuel, 324. 

Howe, Lyman, 421. 

Hudson, Frederick, 380. 

Hudson, William, 12. 

Hull, Commodore Isaac, described, 31, 
32; superintends docking the Con- 
stitution, 40. 

Hull, Generab William, tomb of, 349 ; 
sketch of, 350-352. 

Humphreys, David, 300. 

Humphreys, Joshua, reports in favor of 
Charlestown as a naval station, 27. 

I. 

Inman, Ralph, 187-189. 

J. 

Jackson, Colonel Henry, 27; residence, 

348. 
Jackson, Colonel Michael, 349. 
Jaques, Samuel, 99. 
Jones, Ephraim, 381, 382. 
Jones, Commodore John Paul, hoists 

American flag, 38. 
Joy, Benjamin, 178. 



Kent, Duke of, 310, 311. 
Kent, Judge William, 284. 
Keyes, George, 389... 
Keyes, John S., 392. 
Kirkland, John T. 3 209. 



INDEX. 



439 



Knight, Sarah, journey to New York 
in 1704, 425, 426. 

Knox, General Henry, 27, 56 ; book- 
store of, 172 ; accident, 173 ; mar- 
riage, 174; at Trenton, 175; birth- 
place, 177, 187, 272, 275; residence, 
348. 

Knox, Lucy (Flucker), 173, 176, 177. 

Knox, William, 173. 



Lafayette, Marquis, 303, 304. 

Lardner, Dionysius, prediction of, 35. 

Lechmere's Point, 179 ; British land at, 
180 ; access to, 180 ; fort on, 180 - 
184; executions at, 184. 

Lechmere, Richard, 179. 

Lech mere, Thomas, 179. 

Lee, General Charles, announces his 
arrival to the enemy, 85, 86; quar- 
ters of, 129, 141 ; sketch and anec- 
dotes of, 142-144; alleged treason, 
145 ; incidents of his capture, 146 ; 
singular request and death, 147, 148, 
272. 

Lee, Joseph, 316. 

Lee, Colonel William K, 107. 

Leonard, Rev. Abiel, 191. 

Leverett, Governor John, serves with 
Cromwell, 12; portrait of, 14. 

Lexington, battle of. Prisoners of, ex- 
changed, 8, 9 ; Smith's march to, 
354-364; topography of the Com- 
mon, 360 ; meeting-house and belfry, 
360, 361 ; "battle monument, 362, 
363; Clark House, 364-369; burial- 
ground, 370; Fiske's Hill and the 
road to Concord, 371 ; Smith's junc- 
tion with Percy, and the retreat, 
395, 396. 

Lightning conductors first applied to 
vessels, 47. 

Linzee, Captain John, 188, 189. 

Longfellow, H. W., description of his 
residence, 290, 312. 

Long, Samuel, innkeeper, 9. 

Lowell, Rev. Charles, 317, 322. 

Lowell, James Russell, 317 ; home of, 
318, 323, 324. 

Lurvey, James, 258. 



M. 

Magoun, Thatcher, 41. 

Maiden Bridge, built, 6, 83. 

Mallet, Andrew, 110. 

Mallet, John, 110. 

Mallet, Michael, 110. 

Martin, Michael, career and execution 
of, 97, 184, 185. 

Mason, David. 174, 183. 

Mather, Increase, 211. 

McLean Asylum, 172. 

McLean, John, 172. 

Massachusetts Bay divided into shires, 
7. 

Mass. Horticultural Society, 337, 338. 

Merrimac Frigate, launch and history 
of, 45, 46. 

Middlesex Canal, 81, 82. 

Middlesex County formed, 7. " 

Mifflin, Thomas, residence of, 282, 283, 
300. 

Military roads in 1775, 83, 84. 

Miller's River (Willis's Creek), 179, 180. 

Molineux, William, Jr., 424. 

Moncrieff, Major, officiates at an ex- 
change of prisoners, 8, 9. 

Monmouth, battle of, incidents of, 106, 
163. 

Morgan, General Daniel, account of 
his corps, 87 - 90. 

Morse, Samuel F. B., birthplace of, 19; 
first attempts at painting, 20 ; con- 
ception of the telegraph, 20 ; first 
line and message, 21. 

Morse, Jedediah, 16-18; residence, 19. 

Moulton's Point (Moreton's or Mor- 
ton's), British landing-place at bat- 
tle of Bunker Hill, 27 ; fortified, 28. 

Mount Auburn, 326-340; the Tower, 
329; the Chapel and statuary, 335- 
337; origin of, 337, 338. 

Mount Pisgah. See Prospect Hill. 

Murray, Samuel, 357. 

N. 

Napoleon I., his opinion of American 

sailors, 46. 
Navy Yard, Charlestown, 26-51; first 

Government yards, 27 ; history of 



uo 



INDEX. 



Charlestown purchase, 27; surround- 
ings, 28; commanders of, 29-33; 
the park of artillery, 33 ; compared 
with Woolwich, 34 ; dry dock, 40 ; 
famous vessels built at, 44 - 46 ; 
landing of Sir William Howe, 48, 49 ; 
area, cost, and original proprietors, 
49, 50 ; Naval Institute and tro- 
phies, 50. 

Nelson, Horatio, noble conduct of, 37. 

Newman, Robert, 354. 

Newton, celebrities of, 348 - 353. 

Nicholson, Commodore Samuel, com- 
mands Charlestown Yard, 29; col- 
lision with Claghorn, 29, 30 ; death 
and burial, 30. 

Night watch, customs of, 9, 10. 

Nix's Mate, 170. 

Noddle's Island (East Boston), 27. 

Nonantum Hill, 352, 353. 

o. 

Old Manse (Concord), 389-392. 

Old South Church (Boston), 183 ; 

Washington's visit to, 271, 272. 
Old Wayside Mill. See Powder House. 
Oliver, Thomas, 318, 319. 
Otis, James, 336. 

P. 

Parker, Isaac, 218. 

Parker, Theodore, birthplace of, 361. 

Parker, John, 361, 409. 

Parker, Rev. Samuel, 274, 275. 

Parkman, Samuel, 379, 429. 

Pearson, Eliphalet, 262. 

Percival, Captain John, 30. 

Percy, Hugh, Earl, march to and re- 
treat from Lexington, 395 - 405. 

Penny Ferry, 83. 

Pere la Chaise, Mount Auburn com- 
pared with, 329, 334. 

Phillips, Rev. George, 346, 347. 

Phillips, General William, 165. 

Phips, David, mansion, etc., 200. 

Phips's Point. See Lechmere's. 

Pierce, Josiah, Jr., 428. 

Pierce, George W., 431. 

Pierce, Joseph, 173. 

Pigot, General Robert, 5. 



Pitcairn, Major John, at Lexington, 
357 - 359, 381, 382. 

Plowed Hill (Mt. Benedict), fortifica- 
tions described, 84, 85; convent on, 
burnt, 92, 93. 

Pomeroy, Colonel Seth, at Bunker 
Hill, 60, 61. 

Pontefract Castle, England, capture 
and siege of, 12. 

Powder House, history and description 
of, 110-112; legend of, 115. 

Prentice, Captain Thomas, 348. 

Prescott, Colonel William, 60-62. 

Prospect Hill, occupied by Putnam, 
62; fortifications, 148 ; vestiges of, 
148, 149, 166, 167 ; garrison of, 149; 
description of camps and flag-raising 
on, 156, 157 ; Burgoyne's troops en- 
camped on, 157 ; description of their 
barracks, 159; collision between 
prisoners and guards, 160. 

Putnam, General Israel, conducts an 
exchange of prisoners, 8, 9 ; at Bun- 
ker Hill, 60 - 62 ; quarters and 
sketches of, 189 - 192, 197, 272. 

Putnam, Colonel Rufus, anecdote of, 
108. 



Quarry Hill, 113. 

Quincy, Dorothy, 366. 

Quincy, Eliza S., 206, 210. 

Quincy. Josiah, 210. 

Quincy, Samuel, residence of, 59. 

R. 

Rainsborrow, General William, ser- 
vices under Cromwell, 12; killed, 13. 

Rale, Sebastian, 205. 

Rawdon, Francis, Lord, at Bunker 
Hill, 57. 

Reed, Joseph, 299. 

Revere, Paul, prints Colony notes, 
348; night ride to Lexington, 354, 
357, 367. 

Rice, Reuben, 381. 

Ripley, Rev. Ezra, 388, 391. 

Rivington, James, anecdote of, 55. 

Riedesel, Baron von, 107, 314-316. 



INDEX. 



441 



Royal Artillery, 112, 183, 395. 
Rolfe, Benjamin, 429. 
Royall, Isaac, 120, 123, 124, 218. 
Royall, William, 122. 
Royall, Samuel, 123. 
Royall, Penelope, 124. 
Ruggles, Timothy, 165. 
Ruggles, Captain George, 316. 
Russell, Thomas, 309, 310. 
Russell, Jason, 402. 



S. 

Saltonstall, Sir Richard, 317. 

Scammell, Alexander, 101. 

Sedgwick, General Robert, serves under 

Cromwell, 12 ; death, 14. 
Serjeant, Rev. Winwood, 274. 
Seventy-first Highlanders, organization 

of, 382. 
Sewall, Jonathan, 313, 314. 
Sibley, John L., 205. 
Small, General John, anecdote of, 59. 
Smith, Captain John, names Charles 

River, 2 ; New England, 3 ; his 

tomb, 3. 
Smith, Lieutenant-Colonel, lands at 

Lechmere's Point, 356. 
Sparks, Jared, 311. 
Spooner, Bathsheba, 165, 166. 
Spooner, Joshua, 166. 
Stark, General John, at Bunker Hill, 

56, 60, 70 ; quarters at Medford, and 

sketch of, 125, 126, 272. 
Stirling, Alexander, Lord, 303. 
Stirling, Lady Kitty, 303. 
Stone, John, architect of Charles River 

Bridge, 4. 
Story, Joseph, 219 ; home of, 283 ; 

habits of, 284, 337. 
Story, W. W., birthplace of, 284, 337. 
Stoughton, Israel, 12. 
Stow, Cyrus, 383. 
Stratton, John, 318. 
Sudbury, Green Hill, 410 ; Nobscot, 

410; King Philip's attack, 416, 417 ; 

Noyes Mill, 417. 
Sullivan, General John, 84; quarters 

of, 98, 129; his camp, 101, 102; 

sketch of, 102, 103. 
19* 



T. 

Talleyrand (Prince of Ponte Corvo), 
310. 

Taverns. The Sim, 71 ; Anna Whitte- 
more's (Charlestown), 83; Billings's 
(Medford), 126, 132; Fountain (Med- 
ford), 132; Conestoga Wagon (Phila- 
delphia),^; Bradish's (Cambridge), 
158, 213, 214, Richardson's (Water- 
town), 345, 346; Coolidge's, 348; 
Davenport's (Cambridge), 357 ; Black 
Horse (Arlington), 357 ; Tufts's, 
357 ; Bucknian's (Lexington), 361 ; 
Wright's (Concord), 380; Richard- 
son's, 381: Bigelow's (Concord), 381; 
Heywood's, 383, 385; Jones's, 381; 
Munroe's (Lexington), 396. 

Temple, Robert, residence and account 
of, 96, 97. 

Ten-Hills Farm, account of, 95 - 99. 

Thompson, Benjamin (Count Rum- 
ford), 427- 432. 

Thompson, General William, 89. 

Thoreau, Henry D., 379, 380. 

Tidd, Jacob, 129. 

Tilghman, Tench, 300. 

Tilghman, Lloyd, 300. 

Tracy, Nathaniel, 308, 309. 

Trescott, Lemuel, 173, 429. 

Trenton, battle of, 109 ; council of war 
before, 126 ; incident of, 175. 

Trowbridge, John T., 403. 

Trowbridge, Judge, home of, 280. 

Trumbull, John, 299. 

Tudor, Frederick, 345. 

Tudor, Colonel William, 151 ; anec- 
dotes of, 162. 

Tudor, William, Jr., 74, 338. 

Tuckerman, Edward, 284. 

Tufts, Nathan, 113. 

Tufts, Oliver, 141. 

Turner, Job, 40. 

Two Cranes, Charlestown, 9. 

Two-Penny Brook, 113. 

V. 

Vanderlyn, John, anecdote of, 105. 
Vassall, Colonel Henry, 125. 
Vassall, John, Sr., 286, 292. 



442 



INDEX. 



W. 

Wadsworth, Captain Samuel, killed, 
416, 417. 

.Wapping, 28. 

Ward, General Artem as, 61; headquar- 
ters, 258 ; incident of Sliays's Re- 
bellion, 259, 260. 

Ward, Joseph, 349. 

Warren, Joseph, conducts an exchange 
of prisoners, 8 ; at Bunker Hill, 60, 
61, 261 ; death, 72 ; statue of, .77. 

Washington Elm, 267. 

Washington, General George, collision 
with Hancock on a point of etiquette, 
15, 70, 71; leave-taking of his officers, 
174, 208 ; first headquarters in Cam- 
bridge, 262 ; events in life of, 271, 
272; headquarters, 289.-308; per- 
sonal description of, 296; Continental 
uniform, 297 ; his staff, 299, 300 ; at 
Monmouth, 301 ; anecdotes of, 301, 
302,; habits of, 306 ; his body-guard, 
307, 308. 

Washington, Lady, 305. 

Waterhouse, Benjamin, 264. 

Waters, Captain Josiah, 187. 

Watertown meeting-houses, 347 ; 
Bridge, 347, 348 ; burial-grounds, 
346, 347. 

Wayside Inn (Sudbury), 420-425. 

Weils, William, 317. 

Wesson, Colonel James, 162, 163. 



West Church (Boston), anecdote of, 

322. 
West Boston Bridge, built, 4, 5. 
Wheeler, Captain Timothy, ruse of at 

Concord, 384. 
Whitcomb, Colonel Asa, anecdote of, 

156. 
Whitefield's Elm, 268. 
Wilder, Marshall P., 339. 
Wilkinson, General James, account of 

Bunker Hill battle, 70; duel with 

Gates, 104. 
Willard, Joseph, 209. 
Willard, Samuel, 211. 
Willard, Solomon, architect of Bunker 

Hill Monument, 75, 79, 80. 
Williams, General Otho H., 88. 
Windmill Hill (Cambridge), 284. 
Winter Hill, fortified and garrisoned, 

100-102; German encampment on, 

106, 107. 
Winthrop, Mrs. Hannah, 359, 360. 
Winthrop, Governor John, 95, 96 ; 

statue, 336. 
Winthrop, William, 200. 
Worcester, Joseph E., 312. 
Wyeth, Nathaniel J., his trip to the 

Pacific, 341-344. 
Wyman, Rufus, M. D , 178. 

Y. 

Yankee, origin of the word, 256. 
Yankee Doodle, 397. 



THE END. 



Cambridge : Electrotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co. 



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